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The Almighty Buck Cellphones Technology

Smartphone Kill-Switch Could Save Consumers $2.6 Billion 218

itwbennett (1594911) writes "Creighton University professor William Duckworth has released a report finding that kill-switch technology that remotely makes a stolen smartphone useless could save American consumers up to $2.6 billion per year — mostly from reduced insurance premiums. Duckworth estimated that Americans currently spend around $580 million replacing stolen phones each year and $4.8 billion paying for handset insurance. If a kill-switch led to a sharp reduction in theft of phones, most of the $580 million spent on replacing stolen phones would be saved. And a further $2 billion in savings could be realized by switching to cheaper insurance plans that don't cover theft."
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Smartphone Kill-Switch Could Save Consumers $2.6 Billion

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  • Go to hell (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tom229 ( 1640685 ) on Monday March 31, 2014 @11:00AM (#46621315)
    Remote wiping is already possible. What they want is centralized control over the functionality for governing purposes. We're not idiots. Well... not all of us.
  • Re:Go to hell (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kenshin ( 43036 ) <kenshin&lunarworks,ca> on Monday March 31, 2014 @11:56AM (#46622001) Homepage

    This goes a bit further than remote wiping.

    It's already somewhat available with iOS devices, and is completely under the user's control. Basically, without your AppleID and password, the phone cannot be wiped and reactivated by a thief, essentially making it a fancy paperweight. (So it's not really a "kill switch", just a really strong theft deterrent.) The owner can wipe it themselves remotely, for security, but it would still *also* require their AppleID and password inputted directly into the device to reactivate it.

    It's been working since September, and no one's found a way to bypass it. (Yet.)

  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Monday March 31, 2014 @12:02PM (#46622075) Homepage Journal

    Of course that fear doesn't apply in the U.S. No one but the deeply paranoid wingnuts and the foolish cult of Greenwald dudebros are afraid of the "state" turning off their phone.

    The IRS didn't just investigate the teabaggers, they investigated political groups on the right and the left, it was just the mentally-ill right-wingers with their persecution complexes (we're not persecuting them, we're making fun of them and their superstitious, backward, bigoted beliefs) that went nuts over it.

    Well, that and the fact that the IRS did fast track the application for Obama's brother, [] who ran an illegitimate "charity" out of Kenya.

    Gotta learn to read between the lines.

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Monday March 31, 2014 @12:31PM (#46622481) Homepage

    They think a centralized kill switch would be a FANTASTIC idea! Just brick the phones for anyone who dares challenge the state.

    I can really see how this might be useful in the US. Instead of the IRS investigating tea partiers, we could just selectively brick their phones.

    Huh? A protestors phone is far more useful to a government if they can listen in and/or use it to track your movements.

    PS: If they want to stop you making calls they can already do that, but why would they? See above.

  • Re:Go to hell (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Monday March 31, 2014 @01:54PM (#46623337)

    If there was a way to guarantee this sort of "instant karma" justice then crime rates _would_ drop through the floor, trust me.

    Death for petty theft is neither karma nor justice. It's just you demonstrating exactly why we need chaos, for example in the form of the ability to sometimes get away with crimes: humanity can not be trusted with perfect control.

VMS must die!