CA Bill Requires Antitheft Technology in Smartphones

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Apr 12, 2001
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California State Senator Mark Leno is introducing a bill that would require all cellular phones sold in the state to include antitheft technology, reports The New York Times. This measure is being introduced as a way to curb smartphone thefts, which are on the rise in major metropolitan areas like San Francisco and New York City.
"With robberies of smartphones reaching an all-time high, California cannot continue to stand by when a solution to the problem is readily available," Senator Leno said in a statement. "Today we are officially stepping in and requiring the cellphone industry to take the necessary steps to curb violent smartphone thefts and protect the safety of the very consumers they rely upon to support their businesses."
Co-sponsored by San Francisco's district attorney George Gascón, this kill switch requirement could go into effect as soon as January 1, 2015, if passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.

Apple likely won't be affected by the bill as it introduced its own antitheft technology with iOS 7's Activation Lock feature. This feature locks the device to the user's iCloud account and is automatically turned on when Find My iPhone is enabled. Thieves are prevented from turning off Find My iPhone, signing out of iCloud or wiping the device without supplying the original account credentials. This feature appears to meet the antitheft requirements of Leno's bill.
Any advanced mobile communications device that is sold in California on or after January 1, 2015, shall include a technological solution that can render the essential features of the device inoperable when the device is not in the possession of the rightful owner. A technological solution may consist of software, hardware, or a combination of both software and hardware, but shall be able to withstand a hard reset. No advanced mobile communications device may be sold in California without the technological solution enabled.
Gascón and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman expressed interested in Activation Lock when it was introduced at WWDC 2013. After reviewing the technology, Gascón and Schneiderman were impressed with the feature, praising Apple for taking "an important first step towards ending the global epidemic of smartphone theft."

Cellular industry trade group CTIA will likely oppose the bill and its terms that require a $2500 fine for every phone sold without antitheft technology. The group has argued against kill switches and offered a nationwide database of stolen phones as an alternative. Law enforcement officials, however, claim the US-based blacklist is ineffective as many stolen phones are sold overseas.

Article Link: CA Bill Requires Antitheft Technology in Smartphones
 

Z400Racer37

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2011
692
1,556
This is a perfect example of the government jumping in front of a parade and pretending to lead it. The FREE MARKET was taking care of this problem JUST FINE. Thank goodness they were there to waste all that money though. They must really care.
 

The Doctor11

macrumors 603
Dec 15, 2013
5,907
1,291
New York
If I want I sell a phone that doesn't have anti theft tech. why can't I? What if I don't want to put the time and money in to that? I hope this does not become a law
 

CBJammin103

macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2007
233
56
Louisiana, United States
And if a company that has "anti theft" software built into their phones fails to locate or remotely kill a stolen device is that company now criminally liable?

Come on legislators....
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,626
342
I can give the benefit of the doubt to the folks who proposed this law, as being well-intentioned.

But I also can't help but think that there's some clear pandering going on here to the one smartphone vendor that is headquartered in that state, and who by the way, has this technology in place. It's very easy to require this sort of thing with little home state backlash, when your own constituents are already abiding by the proposed law.

Smartphones should have anti-theft technologies in them. Any little bit helps, or at least won't hurt. But one state doing their own thing and writing their own laws that are different from the 49 other states and the rest of the world, isn't the way to go about encouraging it.
 

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,612
803
Los Angeles, CA
will it come with a taser inside
no joke. Because a kill switch doesn't stop the theft, it just means that the thief can't profit easily by it. But lets face it, even if I still your iPhone and you 'activation lock' it by erasing it, I can still sell it to one of those sleazy 'i fix it' shops for a few bucks so they can use the screen, the battery, the camera etc. they just can't perhaps use the storage or logic board because those would be encoded with the ID codes that the server would match to 'lock' the phone.
 

parish

macrumors 65816
Apr 14, 2009
1,082
1
Wilts., UK
Here you go, this should make them happy :)

http://mobile.geek.com/latest/205543-darpa-asks-ibm-to-build-a-processor-that-can-self-destruct
 

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,612
803
Los Angeles, CA
This is a perfect example of the government jumping in front of a parade and pretending to lead it. The FREE MARKET was taking care of this problem JUST FINE. Thank goodness they were there to waste all that money though. They must really care.
yes and no. They weren't previous to the last year or so doing anything. But yes then Apple added the whole lock thing, mainly to shut up those demanding they do something. But as I said it doesn't really stop the stealing anymore than the whole IMEI black list idea (since that is not global). Just makes gaining a profit a tad harder perhaps.
 

Flood123

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2009
623
52
Living Stateside
I don't think the proposed law goes far enough. I think they should make your phone ping the server every 15 minutes giving your exact location so just in case your phone is stolen or you lose it, a elite task force of specially trained cell phone detectives can come and find it. It would also be a great way for our government clandestine overloads to add a layer of protection for us.
 

Ray Brady

macrumors 6502
Dec 21, 2011
290
244
If I want I sell a phone that doesn't have anti theft tech. why can't I? What if I don't want to put the time and money in to that? I hope this does not become a law
The logic here is that failure to install this technology is costing the State money, therefore the State has the authority to require it. It's the same logic that allows the government to set safety standards for cars.
 

subsonix

macrumors 68040
Feb 2, 2008
3,551
79
no joke. Because a kill switch doesn't stop the theft, it just means that the thief can't profit easily by it.
It depends if you consider theft of personal information, you may have auto login on websites and apps with registered credit cards and so on.
 

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,612
803
Los Angeles, CA
It depends if you consider theft of personal information, you may have auto login on websites and apps with registered credit cards and so on.
There is that as well. But a passcode stops that issue, as does a remote wipe. so how about we add to the laws that all smart phones MUST require the user to have a passcode of a minimum of 8 characters and no two side by side characters can be the same or sequential and no dictionary words from any language are allowed including common personal names, plus legally it must auto wipe the device if more than five attempts are made within a set period that use the wrong passcode. And said passcode must be required to power off the phone, turn off any form of online connection etc.

oh and lets make it a law that any device not used for over so many hours must auto wipe itself. that way if someone has a passcode and the thief leaves it setting there unused for like 24-48 hours trying to figure out password without the auto wipe kicking in from too many bad attempts, it just kills itself. Mandatory, can't be turned off by the users (sure hope they are backing it up or remember to at least pick it up and key in once a day to reset the clock or they will be screwed)

That will protect user data. But it still doesn't prevent the initial theft etc. My phone was still stolen, my carrier is still going to make me pay full price or some deductible if I was smart enough to get their insurance (which will end up costing me a fortune between that and monthly fees)
 
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MindBen

macrumors newbie
Feb 3, 2014
1
0
Salisbury.MD
Phone theft software a good idea...

I think the idea of this being mandatory in each state is a good idea, One they cannot profit from the theft of a device and second it will slow the thieves down from stealing the devices. I personally think its a great idea, Stop these young punk kids from taking advantage of people. After they get software to do this then they also need to up the laws to actually punish the the their actions with stricter laws!!!
 

Daalseth

macrumors 6502a
Jun 16, 2012
568
220
This is a perfect example of the government jumping in front of a parade and pretending to lead it. The FREE MARKET was taking care of this problem JUST FINE.
No, the free market was happy to sell people replacement phones.
 

sixrom

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2013
707
1
Even if devices have anti-theft technology, they are still going to be stolen. iPhone is still the most stolen phone. Even with iOS 7.
True, it's another opportunity for Big G to partner with Apple. They love it, and droves of faithful followers will open their wallet and buy into the ruse.
 

Daalseth

macrumors 6502a
Jun 16, 2012
568
220
If I want I sell a phone that doesn't have anti theft tech. why can't I? What if I don't want to put the time and money in to that? I hope this does not become a law
For the same reason you can't sell a car or aircraft without seat-belts. Because it's the law. Government sets standards and manufacturers follow them.