California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill making California the first state requiring smartphone kill switches enabled on new smartphones. Politicians and law enforcement hope the kill switch will help reduce the number of robberies and thefts related to smartphones, especially in metropolitan areas throughout the state. The law goes into effect after July 1, 2015.
A kill switch law was approved in Minnesota, but the California bill is different because the kill switch must be enabled on all new devices. Consumers have the choice to disable it if they choose they don't want it anymore. If the phone is stolen, the kill switch will render the device useless until a PIN or correct password is entered on the device.
"California has just put smartphone thieves on notice," said Mark Leno (D - San Francisco), bill creator. "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."