South Korean Smartphone Manufacturers Ordered to Include Kill Switch

April 14, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

Here in the US, there’s been much ado surrounding the inclusion of kill switches in today’s smartphones. A piece of software that would allow people to remotely wipe and render a smartphone completely useless is essentially what a kill switch is. While we continue to debate about the kill switch in congress and beyond, the South Korean ministry responsible for communications has ordered phone manufacturers to include the safety feature in all smartphones produced from now on. Samsung has already implemented such a thing in their Galaxy S5 and the fact that South Korea has ordered their industry to make it a default inclusion could hold implications for us here in the States.

According to Korea Joongang Daily, reports of stolen devices have risen from 5,575 in 2009 to 31,075 in 2012. Certainly the authorities are hoping that the inclusion of such code would be a deterrent to thieves looking to get hold of the latest and greatest device for nothing, especially considering how easy current measures are to work around.

Samsung has already included a kill switch in their Galaxy S5 – dubbed Reactivation Lock here in the US – and will continue to do so for newer models. LG will be implementing their kill switch starting in Q3 of this year and Pantech have been including such a feature since last year. While congress continues to debate whether or not such a feature should be mandatory, manufacturers look to be making the first steps to make the kill switch a de facto feature in smartphones going forward. We, for one, thing kill switches should be included in devices and see no reason for them not to be, as they make smartphones that little bit safer for the general public and could drastically reduce the amount of stolen phones each year. Where do you stand on the kill switch? Let us know in the comments or over on Google+!