California Lawmakers Aim to Require Smartphone Kill Switch

Posted by at 9:06 am on December 19, 2013

California Senator Mark Leno and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon plan to introduce legislation that will force smartphone makers and wireless network operators to add a kill switch to mobile devices.

The bill, which will be formally introduced early next year, is a response to the carriers’ reluctance to add a kill switch voluntarily. Carriers argue that kill switches could be used by hackers to disable phones, but lawmakers believe they could be used to protect people from prying thieves. Gascon worked with Samsung to add a kill switch to its smartphones, but carriers shot the idea down earlier this year.

Gascon also believes that giving smartphone owners the ability to kill lost/stolen devices remotely will help reduce theft of the devices in the first place.

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