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Californian Legislators Reject 'Kill-Switch' Bill For Smartphones

Californian Legislators Reject 'Kill-Switch' Bill For Smartphones

April 25, 2014

Californian legislators have rejected a bill that would require all smartphone manufacturers – including Apple, Samsung, and HTC – to install a “kill-switch” on their handsets, according to a recently published report.

The news comes from CNET, with the publication explaining that the bill – which has been pushed by California State Sen. Mark Leno and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon – was narrowly rejected after failing to secure enough votes in its favor. As CNET explains:

Failing to reach a minimum of 21 votes in favor, the final tally was 19 yes’s to 17 no’s, with one senator not voting. Leno told CNET that he plans to take the bill up again next week. “The game is not yet over,” he said.

Leno added: “This technology exists, and until it is pre-enabled on every new phone purchased, consumers will continue to be the innocent victims of thieves who bank on the fact that these devices can be resold at a profit on the black market.”

The reason for the bill’s rejection, however, is even more disheartening. Senators believe that having a kill-switch bill that would affect only smartphones sold inside of California would be bad for business. CNET adds:

The refrain from those opposing the bill was that having a requirement for phones sold only in California would hurt business. Senators also argued that over-mandating would drive away the companies that have been such a boost to the state’s economy. “If people want to hijack your car because it’s expensive, do you want a ‘kill switch’ on your car?” said Sen. Jean Fuller, on the floor.

Despite this, Apple, Google, Samsung, HTC, and a handful of other smartphone manufacturers recently confirmed that they’ve entered into an agreement to embed a global anti-theft kill-switch inside of their iOS and Android-powered handsets from July 2015.

Though of course, it’s likely that Apple’s own Activation Lock feature – which the company introduced with iOS 7 – will constitute its participation in the above agreement. We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.

In the meantime, see: Updated eBay App For The iPhone Offers A Revamped Home Page And More, Recharge An iPhone, Or Even A Dead Car Battery, With The JUMPR From JunoPower, and A Hulu Plus Update Turns Your iOS Device Into A Remote Control For Gaming Consoles.

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