Carriers reject kill switch for stolen smartphones

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco's top prosecutor says Samsung Electronics, the world's largest mobile phone manufacturer, has proposed making a "kill switch" that would render stolen or lost phones inoperable a standard feature, but the nation's biggest carriers have rejected the idea.

District Attorney George Gascon says AT&T, Verizon Wireless, US Cellular, Sprint and T-Mobile rebuffed Samsung's proposal to preload its phones with Absolute LoJack anti-theft software.

Gascon, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and other officials are demanding that manufacturers create kill switches to combat surging smartphone theft across the country.

But the wireless industry says kill switches aren't the answer because a hacker could potentially disable people's phones.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, almost 1 in 3 U.S. robberies involve mobile phone theft.