(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
android, kill switch

Companies:
google



Android So Much Of An iPhone Wannabe That It, Too, Has A Kill Switch

from the remote-disabling dept

There was plenty of attention a few months back when it was revealed (first by a hacker, then confirmed by Apple) that the iPhone contained a kill switch that could remotely disable any application. Nancy Gohring, over at IDG, has gone through the terms of service for the first Google Android-based phone and noted that it appears to have a remote kill switch as well, though at least it's upfront about it. You can understand why mobile operators might want this (for example, to stop a bandwidth hogging app), but it's still rather troubling that an app that you thought you had placed on your own device might be remotely deleted one day. If we've been able to deal with rogue and runaway apps on PCs for all these years, you would think that mobile operators would be able to deal with it as well.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2008 @ 5:17am

    Android Kill Switch != iPhone Kill Switch

    Key differences:
    * You can install apps easily without using the Google Store Repository
    * The Kill Switch only works on Apps installed from the Google Store Repository
    * The Kill Switch is not meant to be used to censor programs, just to stop malicious ones that may get uploaded to the Google Store Repository

    Of course, only time can tell for sure. But Google isn't hiding it and from what I can tell those are the key differences. Apple's kill switch is used to prevent competition on their platform. Google's is there for liability reasons.

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