Chrome OS may get remote lock, wipe feature

Part of the appeal of Chrome OS is that it makes physical hardware expendable—everything is handled in the cloud, including data and user profile storage. But what happens if your Chrome OS machine gets stolen? According to a Google+ post by Google staffer François Beaufort, the operating system may be about to get a smartphone-style remote lock and wipe feature.

Beaufort says the Chromium OS team is "thinking about" adding the feature, and users can already see the first signs of its existence in the latest development build. "To see it," writes Beaufort, "you'll need to switch to Dev channel, turn on Dev mode, run chrome with the experimental command line switch¹ --enable-consumer-management (not a flag there) and go to chrome://settings."

The command-line switch adds a "Let Google help you remotely lock, erase, and locate your device" option in the Chrome OS Settings. There's no way of actually enabling that setting yet, though—just an "Enroll" button that Beaufort says "won't do anything yet."

I hope Google follows through with this idea. I've never lost a laptop (or a phone, for that matter), but if I did, a remote lock feature would come in very handy indeed. An option to locate the system remotely would be helpful, as well, and it might actually deter theft to some degree.

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