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

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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)

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Comments (2)
josevelez81 wrote:
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 anti theft….nothing but a joke. If someone steals your samsung galaxy s5 phone…all they have to do is shut it off and hold the vol, power button and button at the botton of the phone. the phone will turn on to a factory reset menu..all you have to do is wipe all data and your cache data. and do a factory wipe…the phone will start as if it just came of the box… know the company flags the esn number on the phone and makes it unless…not really. all one has to do is get it flashed and unlocked. someone can then put any esn in it and use the phone….so where is your anti theft…

Apr 06, 2014 8:30pm IST  --  Report as abuse
josevelez81 wrote:
all these feature to so call prevent theft is a joke. any android phone that is stolen has a hidden menu that only shows up before the phone boots up. let me explain, if your phone is stolen…all someone needs to is turn it off has soon has they steal it. this so call “kill switch” that built into the phone wont work unless the phone is no… Now let go back to stealing the phone. Now that the phone is off, all you have to do it press and hold three buttons. Volume up, the button located at the bottom of the screen and the power button. this will give you a hidden menu. In this menu all you have to do is select “wipe cache partition” and “wipe data/factory reset”. Now just select “reboot system now” and the phone will boot up and start like if it just came out of the box… now all you need to do is get odin and flash your phone and unlock it. of course you will a bad esn if your using CDMA…this can be fix by flashing the software and making a new esn from another active phone. if your using GSM phone all you need to do is swap sim cards and unlock sim. and the stolen phone is good go…so anti theft is a joke.

Apr 06, 2014 8:48pm IST  --  Report as abuse
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