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

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.
    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.

    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
  2. satirev macrumors 6502

    May 23, 2010
    just one more reason to not live/go to/know anyone/do anything in california.
  3. cclloyd macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2011
    Alpha Centauri A
    Why did they need a law when it was already a trend and would have happened anyway?
  4. sputnikv macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2009
    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.
  5. rdlink macrumors 68040


    Nov 10, 2007
    Out of the Reach of the FBI
    They need to have some justification for having one of the highest tax burdens in the US.
  6. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

    Dec 5, 2007
    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:
  7. bernaferrar macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2012
    In Brazil burglars already ask for iCloud password

    In Brazil burglars already ask for iCloud password, so they can disable this.
  8. Michael Scrip macrumors 68040

    Mar 4, 2011
    Welcome to the Internet.

    Is this your first visit?

  9. Derekeys macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2012
    Philadelphia, PA
    Maybe this isn't what we think. Maybe it's a switch on smart phones that can actually kill something...
  10. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    "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
  11. apolloa macrumors G3


    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    Well..... this is sure to ruffle some feathers?

    But it is a GREAT idea, so many phones are stolen every day, render them useless and they will stop stealing them.
  12. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    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.
  13. Rodster macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2007
    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.
  14. PFKMan23 macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2012
    I don't think I have a problem with the law (or the intent), but let's hear about the details.
  15. Michael Scrip macrumors 68040

    Mar 4, 2011
    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.
  16. farewelwilliams macrumors 65816

    Jun 18, 2014
    so instead of:

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


    *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**
  17. Jsameds macrumors 68030

    Apr 22, 2008
    Reading this thread just knocked 10 points off my IQ.
  18. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Jun 20, 2010
    Maybe the kill switch will cause the phone to 'splode against the thief's face. Or splatter the head with bright green dye.
  19. pdaholic macrumors 6502a


    Jun 22, 2011
    True dat. When the Gubmint allows aliens to take over the earth, shutting down all communications will facilitate the process.
  20. pnoyblazed macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2008
    Bay Area
    possibly more...
  21. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    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.

  22. bernaferrar macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2012
    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.
  23. Arcady macrumors 6502


    May 24, 2002
    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.
  24. Michael Scrip macrumors 68040

    Mar 4, 2011
    At that point it might be easier to just steal an iPod Touch then... less hassle.


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