California has now passed a law that will require all smartphones to have a kill switch that would allow users of stolen phones to effectively render the device useless remotely. The law applies to smartphones sold in California and manufactured after July 1, 2015, so don’t expect to get your kill switch-enabled phone anytime soon. This law is applicable only in the state of California but with handset manufacturers having to include this feature in handsets in California, it could very well lead to them just including the feature in the manufacturing process for all phones produced.
PCWorld is reporting that law enforcement is also authorized to use the feature to lock phones.
Police can also use the tool, but only under the conditions of the existing section 7908 of the California Public Utilities Code. That gives police the ability to cut off phone service in certain situations and typically requires a court order, except in an emergency that poses “immediate danger of death or great bodily injury.”
There is no standard here, other than the software must be able to remotely kill the phone, so manufacturers are on their own to figure out how to make it work. Apple already has Activation Lock built into iOS7 which meets the requirements of the law and other manufacturers will surely be on top of their own kill switch software very soon. California joins Minnesota as the second state to pass such a law. My prediction is other states are going to follow suite and, as stated above, manufacturers will likely integrate this feature across the board. What do you think of the Smartphone kill switch? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.