Daily Dose of iQ: Google and Microsoft to Add Kill Switch via OS

Jun 20, 2014 — Allan Pulga

Yesterday morning (June 19), we saw a PC Mag article saying the iOS 7 kill switch was effective in deterring iPhone thefts.

It appears Google and Microsoft also read that news because, as the San Jose Mercury News reported yesterday evening, they are following Apple's lead and adding kill switches to their next versions of Android and Windows Phone respectively.

Government pressure to create a universal kill switch appears to have worked, but the debate has shifted to opt-in or opt-out design.

The Mercury News' Pete Carey quoted State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who said, "This is very significant and validates everything we have been trying to do legislatively in Sacramento this past year." Leno introduced a bill requiring every smartphone maker to have a kill switch.

"There are sharp divisions over which is best among proponents of some form of kill switch," Carey wrotes. "Some say opt-out is best because most users will go with the default mode; others say users should be free to choose whether they want to use the feature.

"Leno's bill would require opt-out and has met opposition from some industry and advocacy groups. It has passed the Senate and has been working its way through various Assembly committees."

Topics: Privacy, Wireless Trends, Mobile Industry

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