Looks like cellphones sold in California will soon have a mandatory "kill switch"

By Paul Bradley Carr , written on August 13, 2014

From The News Desk

There's a fun statistic cited in SB 962, the proposed bill which would mandate that all smartphones sold in California be fitted with a "kill switch" that bricks them if stolen.

According to the Office of the District Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, in 2012, more than 50 percent of all robberies in San Francisco involved the theft of a mobile communications device.
And another one...
Consumer Reports projects that 1.6 million Americans were victimized for their smartphones in 2012.
Little wonder, then, that the bill has just cleared its last hurdle -- being approved on Monday by the state senate -- before heading to Governor Jerry Brown for approval.

Assuming the bill makes it into law, it will impose fines up to $2500 on any California retailer who sells a smartphone that lacks a kill switch.

The law defines a smartphone as one that "[p]ossesses the capability to utilize mobile software applications, access and browse the Internet, utilize text messaging, utilize digital voice service, and send and receive email." A kill switch is defined as one that can withstand even a factory reset of the device.

According to the Latin Post:

Major telecommunications companies such as Apple, Google, Verizon, and AT&T have all removed their opposition to the kill-switch bill, signaling a shift in the urgency. The FCC held a workshop in June encouraging firms to adopt the necessary technology -- a tactic that may have paid some dividends.