01.Samsung Galaxy S5 fights phone thieves
Samsung’s soon-to-be-released Galaxy S5 smartphone will include two new anti-theft features in a bid to fight widespread theft of mobile devices.
The main protective feature, Reactivation Lock, will lock down and reset the phone when it detects unauthorised access. Even after a reset, Reactivation Lock will require a password to unlock the phone. A program called Find My Mobile will also be included, which can be used to remotely locate and lock the Galaxy S5. The technology is similar to the Activation Lock feature that Apple introduced last year for its iPhones.
At launch, the Samsung features will only be available to customers of Verizon and US Cellular. Samsung is yet to say which, if any, Australian service providers will be involved.
The decision has been well received by members of the Secure Our Smartphone Initiative, an international coalition created to combat theft. But Samsung’s opt-in approach has drawn criticism. Each setting will be turned off by default and must be activated by the user for it to take effect.
Pressure is mounting against the smartphone industry to help decrease the number of smartphone thefts. Last week, a bill was introduced in California requiring all mobiles to include anti-theft devices. If passed, the legislation could be the first of its kind in America.
More than 100,000 mobile devices are reported lost or stolen in Australia every year, according to the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association.