SACRAMENTO — California just flipped the kill switch for smartphones, in a move to make iCrime a thing of the past.
Governor Jerry Brown signed into law State Sen. Mark Leno’s Smartphone Theft Prevention Act (Senate Bill 962). The law will affect any smartphone manufactured on or after July 1, 2015.
There’s some reason to hope that the kill switch will do for smartphones what sophisticated alarm systems did for cars: make stealing them less appealing than a pair of leg warmers. Car thefts plummeted 96 percent in New York City when engine immobilizer systems came into play.
Introduced in iOS 7, Activation Lock is a feature that prevents users who recover a lost or stolen iPhone from activating the device without signing in with the Apple ID used to erase the device remotely.
By all accounts, Activation Lock has made a difference in stopping smartphone theft, especially in New York. But in California, law may very well mandate smartphone features like Activation Lock shortly.
SACRAMENTO — The state where the iPhone was born came a step closer to a law that might help keep it in your hands.
State Sen. Mark Leno’s Smartphone Theft Prevention Act (Senate Bill 962) passed the state legislature this morning with a 51-18 vote. Now it will move on to the Senate for a vote on amendments.
California won’t be the first state to flip the kill switch – that distinction goes to Minnesota, which heeded the call from consumers in May. If the law passes in the most populous state in the U.S. and the birthplace of the iPhone, it may mark a sea change in similar legislation. California’s law will affect any smartphone manufactured on or after July 1, 2015.