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Smartphone Kill Switch Rejected by Carriers

Nov 20 2013, 4:22am CST | by , in News | Technology News

Smartphone Kill Switch Rejected by Carriers
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The carriers have rejected a proposal for a smartphone kill switch. The aim of this kill switch was to prevent smartphone theft. But the rebuff from carriers has acted like a spanner in the works.

Various legislators in San Francisco and New York have proposed a kill switch to discourage thieves from stealing smart phones. However, a major hurdle remains in the way. The carrier firms are not in favor of the deal. The district attorney, George Gascon has been negotiating with Samsung regarding this idea. 

Samsung could put antitheft software within its smartphones. But support for the software would require prior permission of the carrier companies. And this they are not willing to lend Samsung. Carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint were completely against the whole plan. The real reason for this is the fear that the antitheft software would take out huge chunks from the insurance plans the carriers make with consumers. 

San Francisco’s district attorney, George Gascon, said, “Corporate profits cannot be allowed to guide decisions that have life-or-death consequences,” Mr. Gascón said. “This solution has the potential to safeguard Samsung customers, but these emails suggest the carriers rejected it so they can continue to make money hand over fist on insurance premiums.”

George Gascon has criticized the carriers’ obstructionist designs by saying that they are just out to mint more money. Instead of favoring their customers they want to make profits only. While the sale of smartphones is a multibillion dollar business in the United States, the thefts of these devices have not stopped. In fact they are rising with the passage of time. Mostly, Apple devices are being theft. Termed “Apple Picking” the pilferage many times involves violence and hence the carrier execs ought to look to their conscience as responsible service providers. 

Basically, the carriers don’t see kill switches as the right solution to this dilemma. Rather they think that it would complicate matters even further. Some other fix had to be found to the issue. It appears that only by close cooperation and collective brainstorming between all the parties concerned will an answer to this conundrum be reached.

Source: NYTimes 

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