When Apple debuted iOS 7 earlier this year, one of the many new features covered at the keynote event was Activation Lock. The feature is an addition to the existing Find My iPhone system that helps recover lost or stolen iOS devices. While Find My iPhone mainly focuses on locating tracking the missing device on a map, Activation Lock is designed to keep thieves from using stolen phones.
George Gascón, San Francisco district attorney, has called on Apple to enable this feature by default, requiring users to opt-out of the service rather than opting in. Gascón cites a recent survey of 313 San Franciscans which revealed that 79% of responding iPhone users had enabled Find My iPhone and Activation Lock.
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Despite the ridiculously tiny sample size and geographical bias toward a tech-savvy citizenry, Gascón says that this number is high enough to indicate that most users want the feature enabled, and Apple should automatically enable it on all new devices.
The survey was being conducted as part of a revitalized effort to create a carrier “kill switch” that would allow stolen phones to be remotely disabled by the carrier, even if they have been restored to factory settings. Carriers were not too pleased with the idea when it first came up several years ago, and it appears attitudes have not changed much following these recent developments.