NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced progress on Thursday in their Secure Our Smartphones Initiative that could further curtail violent smartphone theft.
Schneiderman and Gascón announced that Microsoft and Google will incorporate a kill switch into the next version of their respective operating systems. The announcement means a kill switch will be incorporated into the three dominant smartphone operating systems - Windows Phone, iOS and Android - which encompass 97 percent of all U.S. smartphones.
"The commitments of Google and Microsoft are giant steps toward consumer safety and the statistics released today illustrate the stunning effectiveness of kill switches," Schneiderman said. "In just one year, the Secure Our Smartphones Initiative has made tremendous strides towards curtailing the alarming trend of violent smartphone theft. We will continue the fight to ensure that companies put consumers' safety first and work toward ending the epidemic of smartphone theft."
The initiative recently released a new report that showed Apple's addition of a kill switch caused robberies and grand larcenies involving iPhones to drop. In the first five months of 2014, robberies and grand larcenies in New York involving Apple products dropped 19 percent and 29 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, violent crimes against individuals carrying phones without a kill switch grew. During the same five-month time period, robberies and grand larcenies in New York involving Samsung smartphones increased by more than 40 percent.
The initiative seeks to make kill switches a standard opt-out function on all phones.