South Korea to mandate anti-theft mobile feature

Summary:Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning has completed development work on a new security feature, called Kill Switch, which it wants to make available in all smartphones sold in the country.

South Korea is looking to mandate the implementation of an anti-theft tool in all smartphones sold in the country, as it looks to curb growing incidents of theft in the country. 

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning last week said it had completed development work on a new security feature , called Kill Switch, reported Yonhap News Agency. Designed with local tech players, the initiative first commenced in August last year. 

The security feature will allow smartphone users to remotely block all functions in their stolen or lost devices, rendering it unusable. The report noted that while similar functions were available via apps that could lock or delete data in lost smartphones, these devices could be reused once they had been initialized. 

Samsung's Galaxy S5 is equipped with the feature during its launch last week, and LG Electronics will deploy the tool in its models slated for release in July.

More than 1.23 million mobile devices were reported lost in South Korea last year, compared to 940,000 units in 2012. 

Topics: Smartphones, Korea, Security, Telcos


Eileen Yu began covering the IT industry when Asynchronous Transfer Mode was still hip and e-commerce was the new buzzword. Currently a freelance blogger and content specialist based in Singapore, she has over 15 years of industry experience with various publications including ZDNet, IDG, and Singapore Press Holdings. Eileen majored i... Full Bio

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