Apple, Google, and Microsoft are but a few of the names that have announced a commitment to including features to deter smartphone theft in all future products. Even the carriers are on board, with the big four announcing support and commitment as well.
What they're all committing to is the "Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment." All phones sold by the signees after July 2015 will offer, at no additional cost, the following tools and services:
- Remote wipe the authorized user’s data (i.e., erase personal info that is added after purchase such as contacts, photos, emails, etc.) that is on the smartphone in the event it is lost or stolen.
- Render the smartphone inoperable to an unauthorized user (e.g., locking the smartphone so it cannot be used without a password or PIN), except in accordance with FCC rules for 911 emergency communications, and if available, emergency numbers programmed by the authorized user (e.g., “phone home”).
- Prevent reactivation without authorized user’s permission (including unauthorized factory reset attempts) to the extent technologically feasible (e.g., locking the smartphone as in 2 above).
- Reverse the inoperability if the smartphone is recovered by the authorized user and restore user data on the smartphone to the extent feasible (e.g., restored from the cloud).
This is a pretty big deal. While not everyone will use these tools or keep them active, having them available may make a dent in the number of smartphones stolen each year. And while both Apple and Google already provide such a service, having it pre-installed and shown to the user from day one should increase the number of folks actively using tools like this.
We're eagerly awaiting our chance to see how it all works. For more, follow the source link below.
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