(CNN) – Experts have created a way to deter thieves from stealing cell phones.
The “kill switch,” would allow phone users to remotely disable their smartphone and wipe their data clean in case of theft.
According to CNN, Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft, along with the five biggest cellular carriers in the United States, are among those that have signed on to a voluntary program announced Tuesday by the industry’s largest trade group.
All smartphones manufactured for sale in the United states must have the “kill switch” technology after July 2015.
Advocates say the feature would deter thieves from taking mobile devices by rendering phones useless while allowing people to protect personal information if their phone is lost or stolen.
The free feature would allow a phone owner to erase contacts, photos, e-mail and other information, and lock the phone so it cannot be used without a password.
Reports say the date would be retrievable if the owner recovers the phone.