If you've ever had a phone or laptop stolen, you'll be familiar with the slightly violated feeling of knowing your digital life has been laid openly at the fingertips of a complete stranger.
Korean heavyweights Samsung and LG, however, plan to introduce a “kill switch” on their smartphones and tablets that would give owners the power to render them completely inoperable if they are stolen.
The initiative is a combined effort between the two companies and South Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, and would give manufacturers and mobile networks the power to lock a device instantly, even if the SIM is replaced or the firmware is hacked.
Korea has seen an explosion in mobile phone thefts over the past few years, with the reported number of stolen devices having risen from 5,575 in 2009 to 31,075 last year.
The UK has its own problems with mobile phone theft – back in January the Metropolitan Police said that on average more than 300 phones are stolen in London alone every day.
Rolling out a similar “kill switch” facility here would surely be welcome, then, but would require government, phone makers and mobile networks to co-operate for it to happen. In other words, don't expect progress to come quickly.