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California to require anti-theft 'kill switches' on smartphones from next July

Published on Aug 26, 2014 9:08 AM
 
Smartphones in California will be required to come with a "kill switch" to render them useless if lost or stolen under a bill signed on Monday by Governor Jerry Brown, the latest effort to stem an epidemic of phone theft in the most populous US state. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SAN FRANCISCO (REUTER) - Smartphones in California will be required to come with a "kill switch" to render them useless if lost or stolen under a bill signed on Monday by Governor Jerry Brown, the latest effort to stem an epidemic of phone theft in the most populous US state.

The bill would be the strongest attempt yet by a US state to fight smartphone theft, which accounts for more than half of crimes in several of the state's large cities.

"Our efforts will effectively wipe out the incentive to steal smartphones and curb this crime of convenience, which is fueling street crime and violence within our communities," said Democratic state Senator Mark Leno, the bill's author.

Under the new law, all smartphones sold in the state after July 2015 will come pre-equipped with technology allowing them to be shut down remotely in the event of theft.

 
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