In California the law requires that smartphone made beginning next July must include a ‘kill switch” that renders them useless when stolen.
Google has taken the lead by building one into Android.
The Android lollipop includes a feature which can make the phone require that a password is entered before it is reset.
The feature called “Factory Reset” combines with the ability to remotely lock a phone. Google introduced this feature last year and it now appears that now Android devices have a full “kill switch” that can “kill” a phone when stolen and then bring it back to life in case it is recovered.
“We applaud Google for including a ‘kill switch’ solution in its new version of Android, one of the most popular smartphone operating systems in the world,” said George Gascón, a San Francisco district attorney.
And the New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman said: “The majority of smartphone owners now have access to a theft-deterrent solution.”
Eric and Gascón believe that there is still work to be done. They want to see all smartphones to have this feature by default to deter criminals.