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Write reply to post – mobile device kill switch is it good – Software Engineering

Write reply to post – mobile device kill switch is it good – Software Engineering

Write reply to post – mobile device kill switch is it good – Software Engineering

Write reply to this post (SS). Mobile device kill switch is it good or bad? When I did a search for when the kill switch came out the articles I find are within the last few years.

The thing is, this is not a new technology. In 2006, I worked for a company in Tulsa OK that had this feature provided by the cellular carrier on all the company phones. We would login to the cellular provides website, select the device and remote wipe. The mobile device kill switch is both good and bad depending on the scenario.

Let’s take a look at the bad side first. If someone hacks the company that controls the software database; then they could kill everyone’s phones.

As security professionals we are charge with gathering information. If we have a mobile device that was used as part of a crime, we would want to be able to recover data on that device. With a mobile kill switch the criminal or one of their co-conspirators could remote kill any locally stored data, hampering the investigation.

On the good side of the kill switch with the growing trend involving, “the number of violent thefts of smartphones on the streets of major U.S. cities has been rising. Some estimates say 1 in 3 thefts in the U.S. involve a smartphone” (Williams, M., 2014).

Smart phones now have apps that store personal data, i.e. bank cards, insurance information, email accounts and even apps to access bank accounts. The ability to remote kill is vital in reducing identity theft from the stored data. The access to who has the ability to remote wipe should be limited to only the user of the device. It should also be at the users’ discretion if they want the ability and not. This should not be made mandatory by government.

This raises a concern of placing too much power in entity’s control. There are states that have made it mandatory the software come preinstalled. California is one such state, “requiring kill switch technology in mobile phones manufactured after 1 July 2015” (Vaas, 20105). We pray that those who have the access to activate the kill switch will be good stewards.

That they will not abuse the ability but in service of each other just like Peter said. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (NIV, 2011).

References Williams, M. (June 24, 2014), 10 things to know about the smartphone kill switch, (July 2, 2015), Smartphone anti-theft “kill switch” law goes into effect in California

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