Love it or hate it, that kill switch is reducing phone theft


Despite wide-ranging criticism last year, the state of California passed a law requiring phones to have a remote “kill switch” by July 2015 and the approach, as well as similar legislation in other areas, seems to be cutting down on the number of stolen handsets.

Reuters noted on Wednesday that reported iPhone theft was down by 40 percent in San Francisco between September 2013 and 2014, as [company]Apple[/company] added such a switch at the beginning of that time period. New York saw 25 percent fewer iPhones reported stolen during that same year while London had a 50 decrease in iPhone thefts. The switch deters thieves because it allows the owner to remotely wipe and disable the handset, making the resale value plummet.

The information from Reuters is specific to the iPhone but surely has some relevance to other phones as well. Samsung, for example, added a similar feature to its [company]Google[/company] Android…

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