Smartphone and mobile device theft is among the most common crimes in the US and lawmakers want to make it harder for thieves to sell or use smartphones that are stolen. Lawmakers have been pushing carriers to institute so-called smartphone kill switches, but carriers have been hesitant to roll out those features. That is changing on at least two carriers with Verizon and US Cellular announcing that they will offer two new security features on the Samsung Galaxy S5.
The new security features were announced on the carriers by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Verizon and US Cellular will integrate Find My Mobile and Reactivation Lock into the S5 smartphones sold on their networks. The features can be activated by the end-user at no cost.
Neither of those security features are new. The Find My Mobile feature lets users find their device using a web browser. Reactivation Lock will require a person to enter Samsung account credentials before the smartphone can be reset. That is to ensure that only the owner of the device can reactivate the phone and makes the device unusable to thieves.
These new anti-theft features are a cooperative effort by Samsung and the two carriers. This cooperation is seen as a middle ground between device makers and carriers after carriers killed a plan to add a smartphone kill switch in the past. Kill switch software was reportedly installed on some smartphones in the past, but carriers made the smartphone makers remove the software before the devices could be sold on their networks. Both of these Galaxy S5 anti-theft features are turned off by default. Some US lawmakers are backing a plan to add smartphone kill switch software in the future.
SOURCE: Android Community