Chicago City Council Resolution Could Support A Theft-Deterring 'Kill Switch' For Smartphones

01/20/2014 04:25 pm ET | Updated Jan 25, 2014
PHILIPPE HUGUEN via Getty Images

CITY HALL — A proposed City Council resolution would call on the federal government to support a smartphone "kill switch" in order to deter thefts.

The resolution, submitted by Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), would ask the Federal Communications Commission to support such a "kill switch," which would wipe the data from a stolen phone and render it inoperable.

"We're just trying to do something to help the people," said Ald. Nick Sposato (36th), who has joined five other members of the council in support of the resolution. "I didn't realize it's as prevalent as it is."

According to the resolution, the Federal Trade Commission has determined that one of every three thefts nationwide involves a mobile phone, a crime commonly known as "Apple picking." Apple has led the way in developing such a kill switch, and its latest iPhone operating system has an activation lock meant to deter thefts.

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