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.
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.
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.
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to Have Kill Switch
Apple's new iPhones will include a kill switch that owners can use to remotely lock or wipe them, reports Reuters. The feature has been part of iOS for several years, but the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will have the feature turned on by default.
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.
Good thing we have Big Brother