ComputerWorld reports on a technical proposal in CA for a mandatory kill switch.
I’ve written about the issues created by the airplane mode that take your device offline and you can’t use a kill-switch when it is not on the network.
Another way is to enforce a registration of unique identification system that allows the tracking and ownership of a phone. IMEI is a number used, but some thought could be put into how ownership of a phone can be determined.
International Mobile Station Equipment IdentityFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The International Mobile Station Equipment Identity or IMEI // is a number, usually unique, to identify 3GPP (i.e., GSM, UMTS and LTE) and iDEN mobile phones, as well as some satellite phones. It is usually found printed inside the battery compartment of the phone, but can also be displayed on-screen on most phones by entering *#06# on the dialpad, or alongside other system information in the settings menu on smartphone operating systems.
The IMEI number is used by a GSM network to identify valid devices and therefore can be used for stopping a stolen phone from accessing that network. For example, if a mobile phone is stolen, the owner can call his or her network provider and instruct them to "blacklist" the phone using its IMEI number. This renders the phone useless on that network and sometimes other networks too, whether or not the phone'sSIM is changed.
The IMEI system is not perfect.
The IMEI number is not supposed to be easy to change, making the CEIR blacklisting effective. However this is not always the case: a phone's IMEI may be easy to change with special tools. In addition, IMEI is un-authenticated mobile identifier (as opposed to IMSI, which is routinely being authenticated by home and serving mobile networks.) Spoofed IMEI can thwart all efforts to track handsets, or target handsets for Lawful Intercept. Australia was first to implement IMEI blocking across all GSM networks, in 2003.
And neither will be a kill-switch.
Seems like this would be a good solution to have designed by the people who steal the phones.