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California senators propose 'kill switch' bill for smartphones

By Kyle Johnson,

Several California senators have proposed legislation that would require smartphones in the state to come with a "kill switch."

The kill switch would be there in case the smartphone gets stolen, allowing the device to be turned into a useless brick for the thieves, reports The Associated Press.

The bill would require smartphones sold or shipped in the state to begin featuring the kill switch feature in 2015.

According to USA Today, California Sen. Mark Leno is backing the bill in an attempt to squeeze out the black market on phones and lower robberies.

Thefts on smartphones or tablets are high, with the FCC claiming the number is like one-in-three thefts are mobile device-related. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, who supports the legislation, believes the rate of robberies for mobile devices is about 50 percent in his city.

The AP notes that though the bill might be well meaning, the wireless industry is worried that a kill switch feature could potentially be exploited by hackers.

image: Wikimedia Commons

 
 

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