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Tech Talk: A 'kill switch' to prevent smartphone theft

by Doug Delony / KHOU 11 News

Posted on February 17, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 17 at 1:06 PM

Will a "kill switch" on stolen smartphones help reduce phone theft? Also, a report suggests Apple is looking to grow beyond mobile devices and computers. This and more in today's Tech Talk...

== Senators propose smartphone anti-theft 'kill switch' bill ==
(CNET) -- A handful of senators have now proposed federal legislation to require carriers to provide a security feature on all cell phones that would render the devices inoperable if stolen. The Smartphone Theft Prevention Act is being led by Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), along with three other senators. The idea is for users to be able to de-activate and remotely wipe their personal information from their phones if lost or stolen. This kill switch would be free to users. Many mobile carriers fear that such a feature would allow hackers to destroy cell phones, since a true "kill switch" would make phones unusable forever. Read more at CNET.

== Kickstarter hacked ==
The crowdfunding website Kickstarter says some of its users data was stolen. No credit card information was taken, but some account holders had their usernames, addresses, phone numbers, and passwords compromised. The site is now encouraging all users to change their passwords.

== Apple may expand into health, auto industries ==
Apple may be looking to spur new growth by getting into the health and automotive businesses, reports the San Fransisco Chronicle. A source tells The Chronicle that Apple execs met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk in Cupertino last spring -- "around the same time analysts suggested Apple acquire the electric car giant." The newspaper also reports Apple is exploring medical devices, specifically sensors that can help predict heart attacks.

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