Officials praise Samsung's Galaxy S5 antitheft features

NEW YORK Fri Apr 4, 2014 10:48pm IST

The new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone is displayed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 23, 2014. REUTERS/Albert Gea/Files

The new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone is displayed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 23, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Albert Gea/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A move by Samsung to include free anti-theft features on its Galaxy S5 smartphones sold by Verizon Wireless (VZ.N) and U.S. Cellular (USM.N) won praise on Friday by two U.S. members of an international coalition aimed at combating robberies involving smartphones.

The new features allow Galaxy S5 users to track devices and require the owner's account information to reset the phone. The features, Find My Mobile, and Reactivation Lock, will come installed in the phones but must be activated by users.

"The decision ... to provide Samsung's Find My Mobile and Reactivation Lock features on Galaxy S5 smartphones and to allow those features to be activated for free is a step forward in our effort to ensure the industry makes effective theft deterrents available on every smartphone sold in America," New York's attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, and San Francisco's district attorney, George Gascon, said in a statement.

Schneiderman and Gascon, along with London Mayor Boris Johnson, are co-chairs of the coalition Secure Our Smartphone Initiative.

They said, however, that they remain "concerned that consumers will need to opt in to the system, thereby limiting the ubiquity and effectiveness of the solution."

Both Schneiderman and Gascon have criticized the cellphone industry for what they say is a perceived unwillingness to solve an escalating theft problem.

Schneiderman has publicly supported bills currently in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate that would require a kill switch to be installed in every smartphone manufactured in the United States. The switch would prevent the phone from being re-activated in the black market.

In 2012, 1.6 million Americans were victimized for their smartphones, according to Schneiderman's office.

(Reporting by Marina Lopes; Editing by Leslie Adler)

FILED UNDER:

Tech Roundup

Reuters Showcase

Sahara Saga

Sahara Saga

Some staff say Sahara has not paid salaries for months   Read 

Killer Unmasked

Killer Unmasked

'Jihadi John' killer from Islamic State beheading videos unmasked as Londoner.  Full Article | Video 

Economic Survey

Economic Survey

India in "sweet spot" of lower deficits, more growth - Economic Survey.  Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Ab Tak Chhappan 2" is a futile film: Shilpa Jamkhandikar  Full Article 

DLF Penalty

DLF Penalty

DLF says reviewing $8.4 million SEBI penalty.  Full Article 

Fresh Charges

Fresh Charges

Canadian woman accuses Bikram yoga founder of sexual assault.  Full Article 

Maid Abuse Case

Maid Abuse Case

Hong Kong woman jailed for six years for abusing Indonesian maid.  Full Article 

World Cup 2015

World Cup 2015

Full coverage of cricket world cup in Australia and New Zealand.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage