SF Senator Wants to Place Kill Switches on Smartphones, Tablets
February 7, 2014 12:31 PM
comment(s) - last by
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.
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.
The New York Times
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
2/8/2014 2:02:16 PM
I'm still trying to determine how he figures that this is a phone manufacturer conspiracy to prevent kill switches. Companies would
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
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.
"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
San Francisco Tackles iPhone Theft
April 29, 2013, 2:41 PM
New Photos Show “Assembled” iPhone 6, Protruding Camera Ring
August 20, 2014, 2:32 PM
ZTE Nubia 5S mini LTE 4.7" Smartphone Headed to U.S. for $280 Unlocked
August 20, 2014, 10:37 AM
AT&T Will Also Receive the HTC One (M8) for Windows
August 19, 2014, 9:27 PM
Sharp's "Edge-to-Edge" AQUOS Crystal Smartphone Coming to Sprint for $239 Off-Contract
August 19, 2014, 7:31 PM
After 34 Years With Microsoft, Steve Ballmer Parts Way to Focus on LA Clippers
August 19, 2014, 4:17 PM
HTC One (M8) for Windows Officially Announced for Verizon Wireless
August 19, 2014, 12:15 PM
Most Popular Articles
Lumia 830 Gets Major Upgrades Including New 20.1 Megapixel Toshiba Sensor
August 15, 2014, 6:00 PM
Windows Phone, BlackBerry Smartphone Market Share Falls to 2.5%, 0.5% Respectively
August 15, 2014, 9:44 AM
GM Concedes That the Cadillac ELR Doesn’t Really Compete with the Tesla Model S
August 15, 2014, 5:42 PM
Cell Phone Thief Calls 911 After Her Victim Chases Her and Her Male Cohort
August 14, 2014, 12:11 PM
Smarter Wired, Wireless Chargers Set to Shake Up Mobile Industry
August 14, 2014, 6:39 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information