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'Kill switches' in smartphones have reduced thefts in major cities

According to a report from Reuters, thefts involving smartphones have declined dramatically in San Francisco, New York City and London since OEMs began building 'kill switches' inside smartphones

Published onFebruary 11, 2015

big red button kill switch stop

According to a report from Reuters, thefts involving smartphones have declined dramatically in three big cities since OEMs began building ‘kill switches‘ inside smartphones. The report states that in the last 12 months, the number of stolen smartphones has dropped by 40% in San Francisco and 25% in New York City. In London, the number of smartphone thefts has dropped by a massive 50% in this timeframe.

In 2013, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched the ‘Save our Smartphones‘ campaign, which progressed the entire kill switch movement into what it is today. If you can remember back to August, California finalized a bill that would require all smartphones sold in the state to come with kill switch features included. That rule won’t go into affect until July 1st of this year, but it seems as though smartphone thefts may already be seeing a decline in the state. Gascon explained that smartphone thefts have already started to drop because manufacturers have began installing the kill switches into their smartphones.

So far, we’ve seen Google, Samsung and Apple implement kill switch technology into their smartphones, and even Microsoft is expected to unveil the kill switch in their new Windows 10 platform later this year. Other OEMs like Motorola and HUAWEI have signed a voluntary initiative with the CTIA that aims to push forward these security practices as well.

We’re happy to see results out of these new security features, and we only expect to see these numbers rise once more states begin to adopt the kill switch practices.