California Lawmakers Nix Kill Switch Bill
California today failed to pass legislation that would have required cellphone makers to add a kill switch to devices sold in the state. The bill was proposed by California State Sen. Mark Leno and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. The men hoped the bill would eventually curb smartphone theft, which they say runs rampant in many cities. According to Gascon, 50% of all thefts in the city of San Francisco involve a smartphone or tablet. Despite the loss, consumers will eventually earn the protections sought by Leno and Gascon. The CTIA Wireless Association recently pledged to add baseline security features to smartphones that will allow consumers to remotely lock, wipe, find, and recover their smartphones. The CTIA's program won't go into effect until the middle of 2015.
Minnesota Beats California to Kill Switch Punch
Minnesota this week became the first state to require cell phone and tablet makers to build a kill switch into their devices. The idea behind the law, which doesn't go into effect until July 2015, is to eventually deter theft.
California Reverses Course, Passes Kill Switch Law
The California State Senate today reconsidered a bill it struck down last month, which would require cell phone makers to install kill switches, and passed the bill by a wide margin. The idea behind the law is to make sure all users have the ability to protect their personal data.
California Signs Smartphone Kill Switch Into Law
California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that will mandate all smartphones to come with a kill switch by July 2015. The law's goal is to curb smartphone thefts.
Google, Microsoft Commit to Smartphone Kill Switches
Google and Microsoft today indicated they will add theft deterrent tools to their respective mobile platforms. The commitment comes after major cities, including New York and San Francisco, saw significant drops in iPhone thefts during the first few months on the year.