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Smartphone theft prevention act debate rages on in California

Although SB 962, designed to reduce the market for stolen smartphones and tablets in California has been met with criticism, others are in support
By: Michael Hatamoto | Hacking & Security News | Posted: Mar 28, 2014 4:50 pm

The debate regarding a mandatory smartphone kill switch, proposed by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), with support from San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, has ignited a debate among consumers and security researchers.




SB 962 is designed to help clamp down on the market for stolen devices in California, though smartphone manufacturers have been against similar efforts. If passed in California, the legislation could have major ramifications for other states trying to battle against the growing black market for stolen smartphones and tablets.


Although some are fighting the effort, some security experts and consumers approve of such legislation. Here is what Brent Hutfless, IT director for Austal USA, said in a recent blog post published via Tripwire:


"The premise of the bill is sound, the desire to reduce violence is both commendable and desirable, and despite carrier reluctance this technology already exists to some degree through current mobile device management solutions. Beyond the obvious benefit of reducing consumer costs associated with replacement devices, there is a potentially huge security implication, as this better positions the cell phone as a form of personal identity."


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