After a final Senate vote of 27 to 8, California’s smartphone anti-theft bill is now one step away from becoming law. The bill (SB962) requires smartphone manufacturers to implement a kill switch in all of their smartphones sold in California, essentially making a lost or stolen smartphone inoperable. This will help curb the ever growing epidemic of smartphone theft although not everyone is so enthusiastic about the new legislation. Apparently wireless carriers feel like a smartphone kill switch could be exploited by hackers, because… well, they’re always up to no good.
The bill now only waits for a signature from California’s governor before officially becoming law. With or without the bill, major smartphone makers like HTC, Apple, and Samsung have all voiced their intentions on introducing kill switches in their handsets. When it comes to those still dragging their feet on the matter, the bill should help nudge them into making a change sooner than later.