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California Law on Anti-Theft Switch for Smartphones Goes to Governor

8/12/14 5:55 PM EDT
A California law which will require smartphones to have a switch allowing users to render the device inoperable when stolen is in the final approval stage. The California Senate passed the so-called kill switch measure on Monday. The bill is now being sent to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. According to the bill's author, theft of smartphones had been growing along its popularity, and two-third of the robberies in the Bay Area involved smartphones. He said, 'Our goal is to swiftly take the wind out of the sails of thieves who have made the theft of smartphones one of the most prevalent street crimes.' If the governor signs the bill, smartphone makers like Apple and Samsung will need to notify the users when the technology becomes available. It would also require wireless carriers to check user name and passwords associated with phones that were once deactivated before the phones can be used again. Minnesota passed a similar bill earlier this year and lawmakers in New York, Illinois and Rhode Island are considering similar legislation. TheStreet's Julia Sun reports from New York.
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