Major smartphone producers agree to new anti-theft measures by July 2015

16 Apr 2014

Most of the major players in the smartphone market have signed an agreement that from July 2015, all of their devices will allow users to remotely wipe data or make it inoperable.

Some of the biggest names included on the list, as reported by re/code, include Apple, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, Huawei and HTC, thereby covering almost all smartphone users on the planet.

Known more commonly as the ‘kill-switch’, the original owner of the phone will be able to access their phone from another device and erase all information on it before it comes into the wrong hands, particularly as the number of smartphone theft cases increase.

The idea was detailed by The Wireless Association (CTIA), with the smartphone manufacturers’ permission, and will include the ability to recover the phone at a later date if it comes back into their possession.

To gain access to the phone again, the owner can put in a unique password into a program on another device and will restore any data erased through the cloud, in theory at least.

International users may have to wait another while longer for such security measures being introduced however, as the agreement only covers smartphones sold in the US but other countries will no doubt follow suit.

Smartphone theft image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic