It has been reported multiple times in the past that lawmakers have been leaning on OEMs to bundle anti-theft technology with their smartphones and tablets, most prominent backers of this cause include the attorney general for New York and the San Francisco district attorney. Now, California’s Mark Leno, a Democratic State Senator, has introduced a bill which would make it mandatory for OEMs to include some kind of a “kill switch” in their mobiles or tablets before they’re sold in the state of California. This bill is being backed by the San Francisco district attorney George Gascón.
If the bill passes and subsequently becomes the law, OEMs will then be fined up to $2,500 per unit for every mobile device sold in the state of California without a kill switch. Apple already offers such a feature in iOS 7, called Activation Lock. The device can be remotely locked and even wiped thus the thief does not have access to wipe the device and fence it. Once the device is retrieved the owner simply has to enter the correct Apple ID and access is granted. The CTIA, a body that represents carriers such as T-Mobile and AT&T, believes that kill switches are counterproductive and that they might also become susceptible to hackers who will try to disable devices remotely.
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