The FCC is trying to fight smartphone theft, but wireless carriers seem to be thwarting FCC efforts. The FCC claims more than 33% of all robberies involve a smartphone.
Of course this works out well for cellular carriers who not only get to sell the victims a new phone, but also get fees when someone down the line activates the stolen phone.
Samsung introduced a new feature called ‘kill switch’ that helps reduce thefts of smartphones by making the phone inoperable.
The FCC has been able to organize police departments, condumer groups, insurance sompanies and others to create a database to track lost or stolen phones. All cell phones have a unique IMEI number used by carriers to track cellular devices connected to their networks. The idea is that if a phone appears in the database it would be barred from being activated by any carrier.
Samsung has created a feature called ‘kill switch’ that takes things further by completely bricking a phone reported stolen. However, cellular carriers are refusing to allow use of this feature on their networks.
The FCC estimates the money to replace stolen phones, and fees to activate stolen phones is in the billions. With all the money cellular carriers stand to loose if the ‘kill switch’ is implemented it is no wonder they are rejecting it.