Lawmakers have been pushing for OEMs of mobile devices to introduce kill switches in their phones. They believe that by doing so, it would deter smartphone theft since a dead phone is essentially a worthless chunk of plastic, glass, and metal. That being said a bill was recently introduced in the state of California that would make kill switches mandatory, but unfortunately it looks like the bill has failed to pass.
According to a report on CNET, it was reported that the bill failed to gain the majority of the votes. The bill required a minimum of 21 votes in its favor, but unfortunately lost with 19 votes saying yes, and 17 votes saying no. However it seems that California State Senator, Mark Leno, will not be giving up on anytime soon as he was quoted as saying, “The game is not yet over.”
However whether or not the bill passes, it might not really matter because thanks to a voluntary program, several big name tech companies have stepped in to voluntary add kill switches in their smartphones. These companies include Apple, Google, HTC, Huawei, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and all the four major US carriers with US Cellular included.
Interestingly enough it was recently argued by the Department of Justice that because of kill switches, they should be allowed to search a suspect’s phone without a warrant in the event that they or their associates wipe the phone remotely. In any case hopefully more smartphone OEMs and other tech companies step forward and volunteer such kill switches which would hopefully lead to a decrease in smartphone theft.