According to a report from PC World, both Google and Microsoft are planning to announce plans to add a smartphone kill switch to their mobile software in an effort to combat device theft. The feature would allow users with stolen devices to report their device as missing and disable it from being used without specific credentials in an incident of theft. This feature has already proven to deter theft of iPhones as iOS recently introduced a similar functionality.
The news comes after The New York Times released data from the city’s police pointing to a 19 percent decline in iPhone thefts in 2014 compared to the same period in 2013 which considers Apple’s Activation Lock feature introduced to the public last fall with iOS 7. The report from PC World notes that thefts of Samsung devices have risen by more than 40 percent.
Specifically, PC World says U.S. law enforcements will share the Microsoft and Google announcement today, but it’s possible that we could hear more details about an Activation Lock feature available in a future Android version at Google I/O later this month.
We’ll update with any specifics on the mentioned Activation Lock feature.