Print 37 comment(s) - last by JediJeb.. on Feb 10 at 5:55 PM

The idea is to prevent theft

A new California bill could force mobile smartphone and tablet makers to place a "kill switch" on their devices in order to prevent theft. 

According to The New York Times, Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) is expected to introduce the bill Friday, which would require all smartphones and tablets sold in California to have a kill switch. 

Having a feature like this would make the smartphone or tablet unusable if it were stolen. In turn, Leno hopes that this will curb robberies of mobile devices, since they would be more difficult to sell that way.

The bill, which is sponsored by George Gascón --San Francisco’s district attorney -- would make it so phones sold in California on or after Jan. 1, 2015 are required to have kill switches. Those who fail to do so could face fines of up to $2,500 for each device sold.

Sen. Mark Leno. [SOURCE: ABC News]

“With robberies of smartphones reaching an all-time high, California cannot continue to stand by when a solution to the problem is readily available,” said Leno. “Today we are officially stepping in and requiring the cellphone industry to take the necessary steps to curb violent smartphone thefts and protect the safety of the very consumers they rely upon to support their businesses.”

However, CTIA -- the industry trade group that represents mobile carriers like AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile -- said a kill switch isn't the answer because hackers could take control of the feature and disable other phones. Also, it noted that the original owners wouldn't be able to reactivate their phone if they manage to find it. 

While solutions like a nationwide database of phones reported stolen has been put in place, theft rates are still high. In San Francisco alone, 2,400 cellphones were stolen last year, which represents a 23 percent increase from 2012. 

The city has especially tried to tackle iPhone theft, as the Apple smartphone remains a popular target. Last April, San Francisco Police Capt. Joe Garrity described how the cross at Seventh and Market Street in downtown San Francisco is the main place for selling/buying stolen iPhones. The report noted that about 48 percent of San Francisco residents use an iPhone. 

Source: The New York Times

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By ipay on 2/7/2014 1:48:15 PM , Rating: -1
Great! I hope this passes. People are being murdered for their iPhones and there's no way to stop it except to keep locking people up after the fact when they get caught. This is a great example of the failures inherent in a free market, because the kill switch will only deter theft if all phones have it, but there's no incentive for any single company to implement it when no other company is implementing it. It needs to be done by all the companies simultaneously, so we the people need to join together to force all the companies to do it simultaneously.

RE: Great!
By JediJeb on 2/7/2014 2:46:57 PM , Rating: 3
Better yet just ban the ownership of iPhones in California and the crime will end since there will be none to steal. Makes just as much sense and will cost even less to implement. Anyone ignoring the ban deserves to have their phone stolen.

RE: Great!
By Solandri on 2/8/2014 2:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
I'm still trying to determine how he figures that this is a phone manufacturer conspiracy to prevent kill switches. Companies would love kill switches. A stolen phone is a recycled phone, so no net increase in sales. (If the theft succeeds, the victim has to buy a new phone. If the theft fails, the thief has to buy a new phone.) A killed phone is a new sale. (Both the victim and thief have to buy a new phone.)

If anything, companies want to sell phones with kill switches. They're afraid to implement it because they fear buyers will see it as a negative and buy a competitor's phone instead.

RE: Great!
By Jeffk464 on 2/7/2014 2:48:00 PM , Rating: 3
whew, thank god I'm say in that I have an android phone.

RE: Great!
By Jeffk464 on 2/7/2014 3:29:23 PM , Rating: 2
I'm safe

RE: Great!
By jwdR1 on 2/7/2014 3:09:25 PM , Rating: 2
This will work about as well as calling your bank after your wallet is stolen. By the time someone has called and killed the phone, the thief has already pawned it and you're dead in the street.

theft is the excuse to pass the law, not the reason.


RE: Great!
By inteli722 on 2/7/2014 3:11:30 PM , Rating: 2
Really bad troll...wait, you're serious? let me laugh even harder.

This is the dumbest idea ever and just serves to give the government more power over the people.

RE: Great!
By superflex on 2/7/2014 3:21:16 PM , Rating: 3
Please don't breed.
Your stupidity and ignorance is shocking.

RE: Great!
By Nfarce on 2/8/2014 12:24:38 PM , Rating: 1
^^That, folks is a classic example of the dumbing down of our younger generations these days. The dumb mAsses like this ignoranus have been indoctrinated/brainwashed through years of government/public education that capitalism and the free market are bad, and the imperial federal government is good.

The sad part about it however is that just like the Nazi youth, these gubment teet suckers don't see anything wrong here.

RE: Great!
By atechfan on 2/9/2014 5:27:37 AM , Rating: 1
You say this as if Socialism never led to any murders.

RE: Great!
By shuninxuo on 2/9/14, Rating: 0
RE: Great!
By JediJeb on 2/10/2014 5:55:48 PM , Rating: 2
If people could break away from looking at their phone long enough to put it away in their pocket(one that doesn't show the outline easily) then thieves would not even know they had one. But sadly today most can't even walk down the street unless they are actively using the phone, out in the open for the thieves to easily identify and steal.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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