Smartphone ‘Kill Switch’ Bill Heads To State Legislature

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Two state officials have announced plans to introduce legislation requiring smartphones to have a “kill switch” that would render stolen or lost devices inoperable.

Senator Mark Leno and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said Wednesday that the bill will be formally introduced in January at the start of the 2014 legislative session.

Leno said smartphone theft is common on California streets, and the crimes are becoming increasingly violent. He said built-in anti-theft measures could deter thieves.

Earlier this year Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, proposed installing a kill switch in its devices.

But the nation’s biggest carriers rejected the idea. The wireless industry says a kill switch isn’t the answer because it could allow a hacker to disable someone’s phone.

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