Law Enforcement Pushing for Smartphone Kill Switch as Next Theft Deterrent System

Sure, you may have only payed $50 for your smartphone, or even picked it up for free after agreeing to a two-year service agreement with a wireless carrier, but the true value is much higher than whatever subsidized price you paid. That's something you'll quickly find out if it's ever lost or, worse yet, ends up stolen. Unfortunately, there's only so much you can do if your phone gets swiped, though law enforcement officials are hoping to change that.

According to an AP report, the hot topic right now is that of implementing a so-called "kill switch" functionality into smartphones. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that 33 percent of all robberies in the U.S. involve mobile phones, and "all too often, these robberies turn violent."

Stolen Phone Newspaper
Image Source: Flickr (gruntzooki)

Schneiderman compared a kill switch to that of being able to cancel a stolen credit card. Not only would it render the stolen phone useless, but if all phones had a kill switch, it might also serve as a deterrent since the value on the black market would plummet, or so that's the hope.

Apple recently announced that it plans to implement some kind of similar feature into iOS 7, due out this fall, though the company didn't elaborate on how it will work.