CTIA-The Wireless Association announced that, according to a voluntary commitment, companies such as Apple Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Verizon Wireless, AT&T Inc., U.S. Cellular Corp., Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. would provide an anti-theft tool preinstalled in devices or available for free download for mobile devices sold in the United States from July 2015.
Users would have the option to remotely eliminate the information contained in their mobile phones as well as to prevent reactivation if their devices are lost or stolen, said the association.
The industry has taken action as government agencies and elected US officials ask manufacturers to implement disabling devices to fight the increasing smartphone robbery cases in the nation. Sector representatives had said that including such anti-theft devices in mobile phones had serious risks, such as hacker vulnerability.
Nearly one of every three robbery cases in the United States involves smartphones, according to the Federal Communications Commission. These robberies cost US consumers over 30,000 million dollars in 2012, said the agency in study.