Crime involving smartphone theft has become an epidemic, especially in places such as New York City where the crime rate went up for the first time in twenty years thanks to thieves looking to steal an iOS device. As a response to the iOS device crimewave, Apple has added significant improvements to iOS 7 including a new Activation Lock feature, but according to the New York Police Department’s new commissioner, Bill Bratton, this isn’t enough. Bratton claims to be sure that Apple and other US Smartphone manufacturers are in cahoots with insurance companies to make a fortune by not installing a kill switch within their devices and/or platforms.
While speaking at a symposium on community policing, Commissioner Bratton said he’s joining the efforts of NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón to pressure Apple and other mobile device makers to install a kill switch for stolen devices. According to him, it would be easy for OEMs to make the kill switch and that Samsung already proposed making it standard on its phones but American manufacturers such as Apple are resistant to the idea. He stated the following regarding the matter:
They don’t want to do it because they are basically working in cahoots with the insurance companies and they’re making a fortune off it… We are responding to a problem they can prevent. They have the capability to effectively make these phones useless.