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Us Network Operators Reject Plans For Mandatory Smartphone Kill Switch

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US mobile network operators have rejected plans to install a mandatory ‘kill switch’ on Samsung’s smartphones in an attempt to deter thieves.

The scheme was drafted by San Francisco’s district attorney, George Gascón, who told the New York Times that network operators were concerned that the kill switch would destroy the profitability of their insurance policies for lost and stolen handsets.

“Corporate profits cannot be allowed to guide decisions that have life-or-death consequences,” Gascón told the newspaper. “This solution has the potential to safeguard Samsung customers, but these emails suggest the carriers rejected it so they can continue to make money hand over fist on insurance premiums.”

So the insurance policy doesn't cover breakages then? Can't the phones be blocked anyway?

Profits before good customer service.

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Can't the phones be blocked anyway?

Profits before good customer service.

In the US, the networks don't generally block IMEIs for phones reported stolen. Those networks that do, don't share the blacklist between themselves, or with international databases.

In the UK, all the networks use a shared blacklist, which is also shared with multiple worldwide networks (although the UK operators have opted not to subscribe to blacklisted numbers registered abroad).

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  • 407 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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