Senators Propose Federal 'Kill Switch' Bill
Four U.S. senators have introduced a bill that would force handset makers to include a kill switch in all their devices. The Smartphone Theft Prevention Act was put forward by Senators Amy Klobuchar, Barbara Mikulski, Richard Blumenthal, and Mazie Hirono. It would require all phones sold in the U.S. to include a free-to-use kill switch that would allow device owners "to wipe their personal data off the phone, render the phone permanently inoperable to anyone but the owner, and prevent it from being reactivated on a network by anyone but the owner." The legislation follows a similar bill introduced in California. According to Sen. Klobuchar, the new bill has wide support from law enforcement officials. Lawmakers in California and New York worked with Samsung to develop a kill switch last year, but the network operators refused to implement it. Cell phone thefts have risen dramatically in recent years, and lawmakers believe device owners should be able to protect their data in such an event.
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