Police and prosecutors from across the country told smartphone manufacturers on Thursday that they must take steps to solve the "epidemic "of thefts involving mobile devices – and they need to do it right away.
A coalition of law enforcement officials, political leaders and consumer groups, called the Secure Our Smartphones (S.O.S) Initiative, wants a "kill switch" installed on all new smartphones that would make them useless anywhere in the world if they are reported stolen.
They want all smartphones equipped with a kill switch by early next year and they don't want customers to foot the bill for this security technology.
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"The industry has a moral and social obligation to fix this problem," said San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon.
The S.O.S. Initiative is spearheaded by Gascon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The two prosecutors hosted a "Smartphone Summit" in New York City on Thursday with the major mobile device manufacturers: Apple, Google/Motorola, Microsoft and Samsung.
The coalition made it clear is it demanding action and will not back down until the problem is solved.
The theft of mobile devices – smartphones and tablets – is now called "the fastest-growing street crime" in America. People across the country have been stabbed and mugged at gunpoint for their electronic devices, which are easy to resell. A stolen iPhone can fetch $300 or more on the black market.
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