In a major move as part of theft deterrence initiative to curtail theft of smartphones by criminals and consequent loss of confidential data, Fred Humphries, executive in Microsoft’s U.S. government affairs group Microsoft kickstarted the initiative with the announcement on 19 June’14 that “Find My Phone” feature will be embellished with the following additional tech capabilities in Windows 8 phone and newer versions:
• Remotely erase personal data from the smartphone
• Render the smartphone inoperable by unauthorized users, except the ability to call 911
• Prevent reactivation or setup of the smartphone without the authorized user’s permission
• Reverse the inoperability if they recover their smartphone and restore user data stored in the cloud if the smartphone was erased
The stolen smartphone will be rendered useless with this new feature that will work as a “Kill switch”. Once the phone is retrieved the same can be activated and data that is stored in the cloud be restored on the phone
Apple has last rolled out the “Kill Switch” (aka Activation lock) in iOS 7 which locked the stolen iPhones and iPads, last Sep’13 which let customers remotely blot out the smartphone data. There has been a 38% reduction in robberies in San Fransisco, 25% reduction in thefts in London & 28% reduction in thefts & 19% reduction in robberies in New York post this stellar initiative!
The Secure Our Smartphone (SOS) initiative which was set up by New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman has given a major fillip to protecting smartphones and other digital devices from marauding thieves and other anti social elements.
While Google too has joined the bandwagon it is yet to announce the implementation plan for the “kill switch” in its android application!
Let us welcome this yeoman service for the cause of the customers!