Major Wireless Carriers Reject Smartphone Kill Switch Idea For Preventing Theft

Posted Nov 20, 2013

The four largest wireless carriers in the U.S. have rejected the idea of Samsung’s kill switch plans, according to The New York Times.  The anti-theft kill switch would have given an Android smartphone or tablet user the ability to quickly “brick” their device if it was stolen.

When U.S. law enforcement agencies asked cellphone companies to do more for preventing theft, Samsung created the kill switch feature, but Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T collectively said that they would not support it.

Why would they not support a kill switch?  The wireless carriers believe that customers would miss out on purchases of replacement phones and would not buy insurance in case their devices get stolen.

“Corporate profits cannot be allowed to guide decisions that have life-or-death consequences,” stated San Fransisco District Attorney George Gascon in an interview with The New York Times. “This solution has the potential to safeguard Samsung customers, but these emails suggest the carriers rejected it so they can continue to make money hand over fist on insurance premiums.”