California’s “kill switch” bill has passed through Senate after a brief battle with a final tally of 27-8, making it one step closer to becoming a state law, requiring only that Governor Jerry Brown approve the bill and sign it into law, which he has 12 days to do.
The bill, which was introduced by Senator Mark Leno, will require smartphone makers who are selling their products in California to put a “kill switch” in their devices that will allow smartphone owners to remotely deactivate their device in the event that it gets lost or stolen.
Senator Leno believes that the bill will greatly reduce smartphone thefts, which has become an issue in some of the state’s major metropolitan areas. California’s initiative differs from similar legislations that are being considered by other states such as New York in that it requires smartphone manufacturers to have the security feature built-in and ready during the initial device setup.
An earlier version of the bill was rejected following near unanimous opposition from device manufacturers such as Apple and Google who criticized the bill’s broad language which would have imposed similar requirements on a number of devices beyond smartphones. Most of them withdrew their opposition, however, once the new bill was amended.
Read more about the story at CNET.