With Cell Phone Thefts Surging, Klobuchar, Mikulski, Blumenthal, Hirono Introduce Legislation to Require a 'Kill Switch' on Smartphones to Deter Thieves, Help Protect Consumers
With cell phone thefts surging across the country, U.S. Senators
"Cell phone theft has become a big business for thieves looking to cash in on these devices and any valuable information they contain, costing consumers more than
"This bill provides important reform and relief. Our cell phones play an essential role in our day to day lives - from connecting us to family and friends to paying our credit card bills and accessing our bank accounts. As essential as they are to us, they are prime targets for thieves," Senator Mikulski said. "This legislation will help put consumers in control of their cell phone data through a 'kill switch' to immediately disable a stolen phone. Victims of cell phone theft should be able to fight back so they aren't victimized again through data and identity theft. And thieves should know that whenever they steal a cell phone, they won't be able to use it or sell it."
"Consumers whose cell phones are lost or stolen should be able to remotely make the devices inoperable and delete personal information from them at a moment's notice and at no extra cost," Senator Blumenthal said. "By requiring wireless carriers to install kill switch technology, this bill forces them to catch up with thieves whose thefts of cell phones cost consumers more than
"It has been very troubling to see the rise in smartphone thefts across the nation, particularly since these crimes can be violent," Senator Hirono said. "The Smartphone Theft Prevention Act would protect consumers by ensuring U.S. smartphones have an emergency 'kill switch' to keep thieves from operating stolen phones and accessing private information. By making this function widely available to mobile phone users, hopefully we will be able to deter thieves and prevent serious crimes."
"We commend the Senators for their legislation to require deactivation of stolen electronic devices," said Commissioner
"For the past eight months, the Secure Our Smartphone Initiative has been challenging carriers and manufacturers to install technology to end the epidemic of violent smartphone thefts plaguing our communities," said
Senator Klobuchar's bold action to change the way the smartphone industry does business will help make our communities safer and help save lives."
"Smartphones have infiltrated virtually every aspect of our daily lives, but there's nothing smart about devices that attract violent crime when the technology to end this epidemic is readily available," said
"Smartphone theft is growing into an epidemic. It costs consumers billions of dollars a year, and puts their personal information at serious risk," said
The Smartphone Theft Prevention Act would require all phones sold in
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