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Ars Technica: First US smartphone kill-switch legislation awaits California governor signature
2014-08-11 5:31pm -07:00T Visit Ars Technica


Outtake:

A bill to require mandatory kill-switches on smartphones so that they can be disabled in the event of theft passed the California state senate today and could become law if Governor Jerry Brown signs it in the coming weeks. The bill would mandate (PDF) that all smartphones manufactured after July 1, 2015 to be sold in California come equipped with the means to “render the essential features of the smartphone inoperable when not in the possession of the authorized user.”

The bill was introduced by California Senator Mark Leno (D), and it passed on a vote of 53-20 (PDF). With the approval of Governor Brown, all smartphones sold in California would prompt the user to enable the wiping feature upon initial setup, although opting out would be possible as well. If the smartphone were stolen, the kill-switch would have to prevent the phone from being re-activated on a network without the phone's owner's approval. The California bill also stipulates that smartphone designers would have to make it possible for the phone to be re-activated if it found its way back into the rightful owner's hands.

Finally, the bill...

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