'Kill Switch' Bill To Deaden Stolen Smartphones Advances in Calif.

Image: 'Kill Switch' Bill To Deaden Stolen Smartphones Advances in Calif. In this 2009 file photo of Senator Mark Leno, D-San Francisco stands outside outside the California Supreme Court in San Francisco.

Monday, 12 May 2014 07:56 AM

By Newsmax Wires

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The California Senate green lighted a revised "kill switch" bill Thursday in an effort to deter what one senator called a crime wave of smartphone theft.

The legislation by Democratic Sen. Mark Leno requires companies to produce smartphones with technology that makes them inoperable if the owner loses possession, according to The Associated Press.

It fell two votes short of passing the 40-member Senate two weeks ago, but Leno said amendments since then removed opposition from Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. It now applies to smartphones manufactured and sold after July 2015 and no longer includes tablets.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

The wireless industry, however, opposes the measure as unnecessary.

"We have a crime wave sweeping our state," Leno, who represents San Francisco, said in urging support for his bill. He said two of three robberies in that city now include the theft of a smartphone, along with one of four robberies in Oakland.

"These crimes are up at double-digit rates," he said. "We're trying to keep our constituents safe on the streets."

It advanced as a San Francisco supervisor proposed legislation this week that would require smartphones and other mobile devices sold in the city to be equipped with a "kill switch" to render them inoperable if they're lost or stolen.

Similar legislation is being considered in New York, Illinois, and Minnesota, and bills have been introduced in both houses of Congress.

Also Thursday, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed similar legislation that would require that all new smartphones and cellular-connected tablet computers sold in Minnesota after July 2015 have a kill switch anti-theft function. The Minnesota Senate passed a slightly different version last week.

In California, Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla noted recent reports that some smartphone owners are endangering themselves by using phones' tracking software to confront thieves and retrieve their phones.

The bill, SB962, passed the Senate 26-8 and now goes to the Assembly. Leno said more amendments will be considered there, including several offered by Apple this week.

Several lawmakers of both political parties expressed concern that fines of $500 to $2,500 for selling phones that don't include kill switches could unfairly penalize retailers. Democratic Sen. Lou Correa voted for the bill, but he and several Republicans argued that those who didn't manufacture the phones or install the software should not be held liable if the phones don't include the required kill switch.

"These are good citizens in the business world," said Correa, who represents Anaheim.

Leno said state law requires that fines could only be issues for "unlawful, unfair, fraudulent conduct," but agreed to consider adding specific language to the bill that fines could only be imposed if there is malicious intent.

Jamie Hastings, vice president for external and state affairs at CTIA-The Wireless Association, said in a statement that the industry has already taken significant steps to protect consumers, including voluntarily including software on phones starting next year that allows users to remotely erase their data and prevent phones from being reactivated. The industry objects to having confusing state-by-state laws.

Leno said the voluntary action isn't enough because owners would have to find and activate the software. His bill requires that a kill switch be included as the default setting.

Urgent: Assess Your Heart Attack Risk in Minutes. Click Here.

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
 
 
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Passengers Push Plane on Icy Russian Runway (With Help of a Tractor)

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 20:45 PM

Passengers on a Russian plane got off to push the aircraft to help get it on the runway after it began slipping on ice i . . .

Bernie Tiede, Convicted Murderer Mortician, to Get New Sentencing

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 17:39 PM

Bernie Tiede, the mortician who was convicted of killing his companion Marjorie Nugent in 1996, will receive a new sente . . .

Chrysler Pentastar Logo Getting Phased Out With FCA Formation

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 15:51 PM

Chrysler's iconic Pentastar logo is being phased out as the company introduces a new logo in keeping with the newly form . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved