Feeds

California takes a shot at mobile 'killswitch' mandate

Law would force vendors to offer remote bricking

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Lawmakers in California have introduced a bill that would force vendors to equip all mobile phones and tablets in the state with a remote-wipe tool.

Senate Bill 962 would mandate that all handsets and tablets sold in California be pre-equipped with a "killswitch" option that would allow an owner or law enforcement to render a device inoperable if stolen or lost.

Co-authored by state senator Mark Leno and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, the bill is aimed at reducing thefts and robberies of devices. With the threat of a device being remotely bricked, the lawmakers believe that criminals will be dissuaded from targeting mobile users.

"With robberies of smartphones reaching an all-time high, California cannot continue to stand by when a solution to the problem is readily available," said Leno.

"Today we are officially stepping in and requiring the cell phone industry to take the necessary steps to curb violent smartphone thefts and protect the safety of the very consumers they rely upon to support their businesses."

Bill 962 is not the first attempt by lawmakers to mandate killswitch technologies. Last year, officials lobbied for the implementation of remote wipe and brick tools as default, but found that in many cases the vendors themselves objected.

Leno and Gascón acknowledged the incentive for vendors to oppose the measure. Under the proposed California law, consumers would be given the option to disable the killswitch, but provisions in the law would seek to prevent carriers from encouraging users to do so.

"This legislation will require the industry to stop debating the possibility of implementing existing technological theft solutions, and begin embracing the inevitability," said Gascon.

"The wireless industry must take action to end the victimization of its customers." ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.