The likes of Apple, Google, Microsoft and other major figures in the smartphone industry have signed a pledge that will make it harder to steal cell phones—from July 2015, at least.
The pledge sees the companies promise to enable every smartphone user with the ability to remotely brick and wipe their phones when they're stolen. That feature is, admittedly, already a function on iOS and Android, with Find My iPhone and Android Device Manager respectively—but now similar anti-theft technology will appear on other handsets from July 2015.
Indeed, Apple, Google, HTC, Huawei, Motorola, Microsoft, Nokia and Samsung have already signed the pledge, along with all five major US cell carriers. That's some progress, given that those same carriers not long since rejected anti-theft plans so they could sell more insurance.
The pledge will meet approval of lawmakers and consumers alike. In particular, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and California State Senator Mark Leno have both been outspoken on the issue—and still want to see more, too. Leno, for instance, told Recode that he was "encouraged by the incremental progress" but wanted the wireless industry to "commit to the whole solution, not just a piece of it, to protect their customers and make our streets safer."
Damn straight. In the meantime, at least we're headed in the right direction. Roll on July 2015. [Recode]
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