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. As with a similar bill in California, the Minnesota law aims to cut down on the number of smartphones and tablets stolen each year by allowing consumers to render their devices useless. The kill switch gives device owners the power to remotely lock, wipe, or disable their phone or tablet. Once locked or disabled, stolen devices will have little value to thieves. "When you take away the worth, you take away the incentive. These thieves that are stealing these things no longer have the incentive to steal 'em," said Minnesota Rep. Joe Atkins. California's State Senate recently passed a similar bill, though it has yet to become law. The CTIA Wireless Association has its own, voluntary program in the works that will provide the same kill switch functionality to devices. The CTIA's initiative doesn't go into effect until July 2015.
CTIA Says Smartphones Better Protected Against Theft
Beginning today, most smartphones sold in the U.S. will include anti-theft security tools.
Buying A Used Phone? Verify It Through New CTIA Web Site
Consumers, law enforcement, and resellers now have a new way to verify if used or refurbished phones are legit. CTIA, the U.S.
California to Require Warrants for Stingrays
California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law that prohibits the government from snooping on citizens' electronic communications without first obtaining a warrant. The law, called the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act, forbids the government from "accessing electronic device information by means of physical interaction or electronic communication with the device." For example, police will no longer be able to use stingrays unless they get permission from a judge to do so.
CTIA Issues RFP for Stolen Device Database
The CTIA is looking for companies to help it with the Mobile Device Information Portal and issued a request for proposal to that effect. The portal is to be a central tool that consumers, carriers, and law enforcement can use to ascertain whether or not phones have been reported lost or stolen.
Good thing we have Big Brother