Cell phone makers agree to add a 'kill switch' to deter theft

Apple, Samsung, and throng of other of large cell phone manufacturers are finally adding a "kill switch" option to their devices. A kill switch makes a phone inoperable if it's lost or stolen by letting owners remotely wipe data and prevent it from being reactivated. Carriers are able to help users reactivate and restore their devices (using the cloud) if found.

The voluntary move, planned by the cell-phone company trade group CTIA, was a preventative one, prompted by increasing pressure from several states and municipalities. Kill switches will appear as an opt-in function on most phones beginning July 2015. Since consumers spend more than $2.5 billion a year on insurance fees and replacement costs, the button seems like a no-brainer.

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