Marium Shaikh, Reporter

Being added to smartphones, a new feature known as a kill switch will remotely “kill” a stolen phone.
Photo By: Brea Jones, Photographer

By: Marium Shaikh, Reporter

Kill Switch is a new smart phone feature that will be available for every new phone that can disable a stolen handset as of July 2015. Over the past years, smart phone theft has been on rise; Kill Switch may be the answer. Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft, along with other major mobile companies in the United States, have agreed to become a part of this new plan.

The Kill Switch will “render the device inoperable on the network of any provider of commercial mobile service or commercial mobile data service globally, even if the device is turned off or has the data storage medium removed,” according to the federal proposal. The only way to unlock the phone and retrieve the data will be by entering a password given by the owner of the phone. All of these features are available to smartphone owners at no extra cost.

Junior Nabilah Miah says, “The new device may scare away thieves, who are trying to steal your phone, but I also think it’s directed towards the younger generation who constantly lose their phones, since younger kids are getting more popular phones, their parents will probably want protection of their child’s privacy.”

California became the first state in the nation to require Kill Switches on new smartphones; Minnesota followed soon after. Minnesota and California law mandates a Kill Switch for all smart phones after July 1, 2015. Heavily populated states such as New York, Illinois, and Rhode Island are also looking to take the same security measures against smartphone theft.

However, Kill Switch is not completely secure as it will allow police access to the feature under the conditions of section 7908 of the California Public Utilities Code. This gives police officers the ability to cut off service under certain situations.

Sophomore Naomi Selejan says, This new device is aimed to target “people who have important information on their phone. I like the idea of this app because I feel my information is more secure.”

ICloud and Android Device Manager both have the capability to track a lost or stolen device via sound play. Since the ability to re-enable smart phones is only found in this new feature, Kill Switch is the most protective device for stolen or lost smart phones

Freshman Kyra Candelaria says, “The importance of this device is increasingly because of the growing number of thefts. I think all smartphones, regardless of their manufacturing date, should have this new feature.”

As the number of smartphone theft increases, this new device will be sure to benefit people in the near future, protecting their data and identity from being stolen or lost. Although it will not be in effect until July 2015, it will guarantee that fewer smartphone thefts will be threatening in the long term.