Phone makers pushed to add "kill switch" to curb data theft

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A nationwide initiative is encouraging mobile phone manufacturers to build a “kill switch” into the devices so consumers can protect their data if the phone is stolen.

The Secure Our Smartphones (S.O.S.) Initiative was launched Thursday by a group of state and city comptrollers, police chiefs, consumer advocates, state attorneys general and district attorneys, including New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón who announced the effort.

The bipartisan coalition will push smartphone giants Apple, Google (which owns Motorola Mobility), Samsung and Microsoft to give users the ability to remotely, and permanently, disable their stolen phones, rendering them essentially useless. In addition to protecting sensitive data, this type of technology will deter theft, according to reports.

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