TODAY

TODAY   |  April 16, 2014

Smartphone makers agree to add ‘kill switch’

Some smartphone makers and wireless companies agreed to offer technology next year that would let customers remotely wipe data from their devices and render them inoperable when stolen.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> all right, it is 8:11. time for what's trending today. you know, i lose my phone just about every day.

>> you do?

>> yes. i do.

>> is that why you have four phones?

>> pretty much, yes. so anyway, i'm really excited about this next one. something that could give us with a smart phone a little peace of mind in case it's ever stolen. after months of dragging their feet, according to some, apple, samsung and at&t have agreed to a so-called kill switch , and it would allow owners to remotely wipe their data from their devices. it basically renders the phones useless. you may remember that jeff rossen reported this extensively for us. the kill switch feature rolling out next year would be free for customers buying new phones. some think that this leaves devices vulnerable to hackers, but a lot of people think this is an idea whose time has come.

>> absolutely. and i guess if you find your phone, you could reactivate it and get all your data back.

>> the iphones have that, right?

>> yeah, the iphone has it.

>> you can do that on your phone.

>> yes. and i have.

>> it's like a great practical joke is about to happen.