Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) can kill your smartphone if it is stolen

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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has announced that it has met the stipulations of the CTIA’s Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment before the goal date of July 2015. This means that Microsoft will be able to remotely wipe and brick lost handsets with reactivation protection for stolen handsets.

It will also have the ability to undo phone “inoperability” if the handset is recovered. Phone theft issues reached Congress as part of a bill called the Cell Phone Theft Prevention Act of 2013.

Smartphone theft is on the rise as the value of the devices increase. Unlocked iPhones and Samsung phones can be sold for hundreds of dollars on eBay and Craigslist, which makes them prime targets.

However, the devices do not become worth much if the owner can remotely wipe them out. Other companies that have taken the pledge include Apple, Google, Motorola Mobility, Nokia, and all major U.S. based cellular carriers. 

To meet the CTIA goal, the “Find My Phone” feature in Windows Phone will be extended to meet the following criteria:

1.) Remotely erase personal data from the smartphone

2.) Render the smartphone inoperable by unauthorized users, except the ability to call 911

3.) Prevent reactivation or setup of the smartphone without the authorized user’s permission

4.) Reverse the inoperability if they recover their smartphone and restore user data stored in the cloud if the smartphone was erased

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