Samsung announced recently that it has added two anti-theft features to the Galaxy S5 smartphone which will be sold by Verizon Wireless and US Cellular. One feature called “Reactivation Lock” disables the device if someone tries to turn off the program that locates the device. The other feature called “Find My Mobile” tracks the location of the lost device.
While some groups aimed at combating smartphone theft are pleased with the addition of these anti-theft features this still falls short of what law enforcement have demanded to curb the sharp increase in smartphone theft. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that this is a step forward however were “concerned that consumers will need to opt-in to the system, thereby limiting the ubiquity and effectiveness of the solution.”
Gascon and Schneiderman said that a “kill switch” feature is what is needed so that victims can easily disable their stolen devices and render it unusable. “More work needs to be done to ensure these solutions come standard on every device, but these companies have done the right thing by responding to our call for action.”
Samsung said that “Samsung takes the issue of smartphone theft very seriously, and we are continuing to enhance our security and anti-theft solutions.”
Last July the company said that networks were against the idea of placing a kill switch in smartphones. CTIA, a group for wireless providers, said that a kill switch can work for or against a consumer. While a user can deactivate a lost device a hacker can also do the same which poses a risk for individuals.
This feature is similar to the “Activation Lock” feature of the iPhone. It locks the device once an unauthorized attempt to reset it has been made. It’s going to be available on several Samsung models sold by Verizon and US Cellular.
Find My Mobile
This feature allows a user to track their device, lock it, and make it ring for 1 minute at the highest volume level regardless of the sound setting.