‫ Microsoft, Google announce progress against smartphone theft

Date: 2014-06-20

According to “zdnet”, Microsoft and Google announced on Thursday new features in their phone operating systems to combat smartphone theft.

Smartphone theft, known as "Apple picking" in some cases, has become a significant crime in some parts of the country. Law enforcement and prosecutors have been pressing the industry to institute a "kill switch" to disable stolen phones.

In response to the call, wireless industry group CTIA developed their Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment.

Microsoft's announcement notes that they committed in April to follow the CTIA's guidelines and that they will be meeting the commitment before the July 2015 deadline. When it is available, it "...will be offered as an update for all phones running Windows Phone 8.0 and newer, though availability is subject to mobile operator and phone manufacturer approval."

Microsoft has already met many of these goals with Windows Phone's Find My Phone feature, as we noted in a story last September. The same story described Android Device Manager, which also matches many of the CTIA feature commitments.

A Google spokesperson told ZDNet: "Yes, the next version of Android will include a factory reset protection solution to help deter smartphone theft. We will be releasing more details shortly."



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