Researcher Claims a Smartphone Kill Switch Could Save Consumers $2.6 Billion Annually

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Rage1340

By "Researchers" do you mean people who are paid millions by mega money corps to have an opinion?

Another notch in the ear of the cattle that is the consumer.
They want to know where their property is at all times (you) and they want to be able to completely prevent that property from communicating should the need arise.

They entice you with lies about how much you could save. But in reality its another attempt to know where the property is at all times.

Tell me i'm wrong so i can laugh at your ass in five years when another huge spying scandal breaks.

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NavarWynn

I assume this guy is talking about a hardwired kill switch, simple to execute, with one or a few fusible links internal to the phone's CPU. Not rocket science.

That said, the threat doesn't come from either our government (it's pretty hard to watch what you are doing covertly from a bricked phone), nor the lone wolf hacker (unless you gave him your phone, and your passwords, nevermind, you already did do that). No I would say the major large scale threat comes from Russia or China. Coordinated large scale cyber attacks could (hypothetically) grant network access long enough to activate kill switches on a large scale. If I was going to start WW3, that is exactly how I'd do it - especially if I didn't want to nuke you (as their EMPs would kill your phones anyway).

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The Mac

I would think taking the battery out once stolen, then flashing a new ROM on it making sure the turn it on only when it cant recieve a signal (faraday cage, or underground, or something) would nullify and kill switch.

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LatiosXT

The problem is that there's no 100% guaranteed way for you to ensure the killswitch can only be activated by authorized users. Among other things like how exactly would it work?

And most replacements aren't because of theft I think. They're because of accidents. I hear more people breaking their phones than their phones getting stolen.

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shotgun-eddie

This is a very bad idea. I wonder how many people lose or damage their phones vs get it stolen and how much it would really help. Right now could not a carrier look at a unique identifier in the phone radio and just not let it on a network and share the list with all the carriers? They could stop it that way. Having a kill switch list will be a prime hacking target. Do you think it will be “extra secure” even more than a credit card DB that gets hacked all the time?

My Largest problem is they would certainly share this ability with our government for “our protection”. You don’t have a permit for your gathering; they could start killing your phones. You take pictures of something that you’re not supposed to, you phone gets killed. It is another option on the table and you are foolish if you believe it would not be used.

What a bunch of pansy sheeple you must be to want the federal government to help you not get your phone stolen.

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PCWolf

The thing that stops them from making a Kill Switch is that they would lose money from the fact that you will not go out & buy a new phone to replace the one they stole. Yes, some people have insurance plans that cover it, but many do not. Also, for a Kill Switch to be truly effective, it must physically destroy the phones CPU & Ram by burning it out so that restoring the phone would cost too much for a thief to make a profit. Kill Switches that can be bypassed by wiping the phone or re-flashing with firmware are pointless.

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Bucket_Monster

This is making a hefty assumption that people would stop stealing phones if there's a killswitch. I would imagine even with a killswitch it would be pretty easy for someone to hack the phone and reflash it. All it would do is prevent them from utilizing your phone service and force them to get their own. Unless this guy is talking about some sort of Mission Impossible self destruct which would be nuts.

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surfinsam

First off, most people buy cell phone insurance in case they break their phone or lose it somewhere. Second, I still don't see how this makes it so a person wouldn't have to buy a replacement phone after it`s stolen. People would still steal phones and figure out how to reverse the kill switch or restore the phone.

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wolfing

really? most? Most people I know don't buy the insurance

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Bucket_Monster

I think you're reading it wrong. He's saying most people buy insurance for those reasons, not that most people buy insurance. That said, my wife and I have insurance on our phones because I'd rather not have to fork over a large sum to buy a new phone if something happened. An extra $7 on my bill is nothing.

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wolfing

see that's the mentality that gets people here in the US. $7 on your bill is not nothing, it's $84/year, over 2 years it's $168 so about 1/3rd the cost of the phone, but wait, deductible is $200 and they replace your phone with a refurbished one. Unless you're a high risk of losing your phone, it's really not worth it.

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surfinsam

The deductible goes down as the phone gets older

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Peanut Fox

Even for contract users, a Moto G is only $180 bucks off contract. It's not a great device, but it's still cheaper than insurance. Simply buy one of those if you ever lose or break your phone and use it until you can sell your soul for another 2 years.

Unless you're in the habit of needing a replacement every 6 months, phone insurance is a complete rip off.

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Jaeger_CDN

between the replacement cost and the 'premium' insurance by the carriers, the carriers would lose $2.78 billion in extra revenue with this kill switch.

Some how I don't see this being implemented unless it's forced

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Rebel_X

Yeah right, a bada$$ hacker would hack into several wireless carriers' servers and issue a command to activate the kill switch for the entire nation. Imagine the losses!! Too risky and it is possible since nothing is 100% secured.

On the other hand, money spent on phone insurance is just another way of recycling money into the market, which is a good thing for the consumers and the manufacturers. It is a necessary evil if the phone worth a lot, similar to insuring your car (and a very old car might worth less than a Galaxy S5 phone, yet have to have insurance).