Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,556
16,649



A California bill requiring all smartphones sold in the state to have antitheft technology installed was today signed into law by California governor Jerry Brown. Introduced in February, the SB-962 Smartphones bill, which mandates a "kill switch" for cellular devices, was initially approved by the California State Assembly in early August and passed a final vote in the California Senate shortly after.

The law requires smartphones to include software or hardware that will render the device inoperable to an unauthorized user in the event that the phone is misplaced or stolen. The anti-theft technology, which has to be able to withstand a hard reset or operating system downgrade, must prevent reactivation of the smartphone on a wireless network except by the authorized user. The anti-theft tools must be installed during the phone's initial setup process, and it must be reversible so an authorized user can unlock the device if it is returned to their possession.

California's new law is designed to curb smartphone thefts, which have long been a problem plaguing major metropolitan areas like San Francisco and New York City. Co-sponsored by San Francisco district attorney George Gascón and state Senator Mark Leno, the law will go into effect in July of 2015.
"California has just put smartphone thieves on notice," said Senator Leno, D-San Francisco. "Starting next year, all smartphones sold in California, and most likely every other state in the union, will come equipped with theft deterrent technology when they purchase new phones. 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."

"This epidemic has impacted millions across the nation and millions more around the globe, but today we turn the page," said District Attorney George Gascón. "Seldom can a public safety crisis be addressed by a technological solution, but today wireless consumers everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief. Soon, stealing a smartphone won't be worth the trouble, and these violent street crimes will be a thing of the past. The devices we use every day will no longer make us targets for violent criminals."
While the bill will likely affect smartphone manufacturers like Samsung and Microsoft, Apple already ships its iPhones with Activation Lock, a feature first introduced with iOS 7 that likely fulfills the terms of the law. Activation Lock locks the device to a user's iCloud account and is turned on when Find My iPhone is enabled. A stolen iPhone is essentially bricked with Activation Lock, as thieves cannot sign out of Find My iPhone, deactivate iCloud, or wipe the device without the original user's Apple ID.

ios7_activation_lock.jpg
A similar federal law might be passed, if The Smartphone Theft Prevention Act is approved. This act would mandate the inclusion of a "kill switch" in all smartphones sold across the country, which would be used to make a lost or stolen device inoperable and allow consumers to remotely wipe all of their personal data.

Currently, only Minnesota and California have legislation mandating anti-theft technology for smartphones, but back in April, major smartphone manufacturers like Apple, Google, Samsung, Nokia, and all major carriers agreed to add anti-theft tools to all smartphones manufactured after July 2015.

Article Link: California Law Now Requires All Smartphones to Have Built-In Kill Switches By July 2015
 

sputnikv

macrumors 6502
Oct 3, 2009
499
3,119
For the sake of keeping things uniform, I can see state laws like this effecting all products of a particular class sold everywhere. I wonder what will happen if one state requires all phones to have X feature beyond this.
 

imaketouchtheme

macrumors 65816
Dec 5, 2007
1,097
4
I'm amazed that there are already so many sarcastic responses to this news article less than two minutes after it was posted. There is absolutely no way on Earth that this was properly read in time to make those types of reactions.

Why, oh why, must everyone complain and whine about everything, especially without even fully understanding what he/she is complaining about? :rolleyes:
 

bernaferrar

macrumors newbie
Jul 21, 2012
9
37
In Brazil burglars already ask for iCloud password

In Brazil burglars already ask for iCloud password, so they can disable this.
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
6,877
9,344
NC
I'm amazed that there are already so many sarcastic responses to this news article less than two minutes after it was posted. There is absolutely no way on Earth that this was properly read in time to make those types of reactions.

Why, oh why, must everyone complain and whine about everything, especially without even fully understanding what he/she is complaining about? :rolleyes:

Welcome to the Internet.

Is this your first visit?

;)
 

roland.g

macrumors 604
Apr 11, 2005
6,922
2,301
"We can't think or do anything for ourselves or be responsible. We'll have another law that allows us to continue to be idiots." - California
 

jclo

Editor
Staff member
Dec 7, 2012
1,803
3,784
California
Why did they need a law when it was already a trend and would have happened anyway?

The CTIA agreement doesn't require smartphones to ship with the solution, so it's a bit different -- it can be downloadable, but kill switch proponents like Gascon have argued that most consumers won't know to install it if it's delivered that way. CA law also includes fines per device if manufacturer's don't comply. Federal act is similar.

CTIA is against kill switches all together.
 

Rodster

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2007
3,177
6
I'm amazed that there are already so many sarcastic responses to this news article less than two minutes after it was posted. There is absolutely no way on Earth that this was properly read in time to make those types of reactions.

Why, oh why, must everyone complain and whine about everything, especially without even fully understanding what he/she is complaining about? :rolleyes:

Because you are essentially transferring more of your freedoms to the Gubmint. The issue runs deeper than your surface comment. The State can essentially shutdown all phones in a State of Emergency. No communications, no twitter, no facebook, nothing. That's why so many are suspicious of the Gubmint.
 

PFKMan23

macrumors regular
Jan 12, 2012
194
46
I don't think I have a problem with the law (or the intent), but let's hear about the details.
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
6,877
9,344
NC
In Brazil burglars already ask for iCloud password, so they can disable this.

Wow... really? Damn!

So what's next? Wouldn't my carrier be able to block the phone from ever being used again?

There's still a chance that the phone would be worthless, right?

I'm just trying to figure out if the potential Breaking and Entering and Assault charges would be worth it if all you could do was sell the stolen phone for parts.
 

farewelwilliams

Suspended
Jun 18, 2014
4,966
18,033
so instead of:

*gimme your phone or I'll shoot your face*

it's

*put your finger on the home button, goto settings, turn off find my iPhone then gimme your phone or I'll shoot your face*
*HURRY UP*
*too slow, *BANG**
 

FieldingMellish

Suspended
Jun 20, 2010
2,440
3,108
Maybe the kill switch will cause the phone to 'splode against the thief's face. Or splatter the head with bright green dye.
 

pdaholic

macrumors 65816
Jun 22, 2011
1,468
1,561
Because you are essentially transferring more of your freedoms to the Gubmint. The issue runs deeper than your surface comment. The State can essentially shutdown all phones in a State of Emergency. No communications, no twitter, no facebook, nothing. That's why so many are suspicious of the Gubmint.

True dat. When the Gubmint allows aliens to take over the earth, shutting down all communications will facilitate the process.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
51,388
19,449
Because you are essentially transferring more of your freedoms to the Gubmint. The issue runs deeper than your surface comment. The State can essentially shutdown all phones in a State of Emergency. No communications, no twitter, no facebook, nothing. That's why so many are suspicious of the Gubmint.
Wait...where is that in any of this?

Apple already has this as part of Activation Lock, and none of that is government-related in any way.

So...yeah...
 

bernaferrar

macrumors newbie
Jul 21, 2012
9
37
Wow... really? Damn!

So what's next? Wouldn't my carrier be able to block the phone from ever being used again?

There's still a chance that the phone would be worthless, right?

I'm just trying to figure out if the potential Breaking and Entering and Assault charges would be worth it if all you could do was sell the stolen phone for parts.

If you know the IMEI, they can prevent the phone from ever making calls or connecting to data plan again. But a person could still use as a "better" ipod touch. Or just jailbreak and change the IMEI.
 

Arcady

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2002
402
24
Lexington, KY
People will still steal phones. They will take them apart and sell the screen and battery and any other useful parts.

There are several phone repair stores around here that charge $199-$299 for a screen replacement. They cost almost as much on eBay.

There's still a market for stolen phones.
 

Michael Scrip

macrumors 604
Mar 4, 2011
6,877
9,344
NC
If you know the IMEI, they can prevent the phone from ever making calls or connecting to data plan again. But a person could still use as a "better" ipod touch. Or just jailbreak and change the IMEI.

At that point it might be easier to just steal an iPod Touch then... less hassle.

:D
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.