A group of law enforcement officials from across the country want a feature installed into phones that would serve as a "kill switch," allowing the devices to be rendered useless if stolen or lost. They want to cut off the market for stolen phones, which can easily be wiped and resold.
"It would brick the phone," said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. "Thieves have to know that there's no point of stealing a phone."
Schneiderman stood next to attorneys general from some of the nation's other states and a host of consumer advocates to launch what they call their "Secure Our Smartphones" initiaitive.
But law enforcement said the smartphone industry, which actually thrives on lost phones, has been resistant to the idea thus far, saying it was far down their priority list.
The Federal Communications Commission reported in 2012 that mobile phone thefts were involved in nearly one in three robberies across the nation.
"We intend to pursue this with every tool in our toolbox," said Schneiderman.