With several states and municipalities considering various mandatory "kill-switch" laws for mobile devices, the wireless industry announced a voluntary commitment to include new anti-theft technology on phones starting next year.
The commitment, announced Tuesday, has the backing of the five largest U.S. cellular carriers as well as the key players in the smartphone device and operating system markets, a list that includes Apple, Google, HTC, Huawei, Motorola, Microsoft, Nokia and Samsung.
Those signing the pledge agree that devices going on sale after July 2015 will have the ability to remotely wipe data and be rendered inoperable, if the user chooses, to prevent the device from being reactivated without the owner's permission. Lost or stolen devices could later be restored if recovered. The carriers also agreed they would facilitate these measures.