News Column

Smartphone 'Kill Switch' Becomes Law in California

August 26, 2014

TEHRAN (FNA)- A requirement that new smartphones be equipped with a kill switch in the event they are stolen was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown Monday.

SenateBill 962 directs smartphones manufacturers to equip their product with anti-theft technology that allows the owner to deactivate the device if it's stolen. How manufacturers meet the requirement is up to them, USA today report.

According to the National Consumers League, 1.6 million Americans had a handheld device stolen in 2012.

The law applies to smartphones made on or after July 1, 2015, and sold in California after that date.

Minnesota was the first state to sign a "kill-switch" bill into law.

Google, Microsoft and Apple have already said they will install the feature into new versions of their phone operating systems, which means that by next year, new versions of operating systems on 97% of the phones used in the United States will have a kill switch.

Kill switches that are already part of some operating systems are only partially effective, say some critics, because customers have to choose to set the feature. Many don't.

The California bill takes the requirement a step further, making manufacturers prompt the owner of the phone to use the solution when they're setting up the phone. Customers who don't want to use it can opt out of it and disable it.

For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: FARS News Agency

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