One of the greatest fears of smartphone users is to have their device stolen. We use smartphones so much in our daily lives that we end up storing plenty of precious information on them. Thieves might be lured by the device itself, as well as by the information contained, like bank accounts, passwords and credit card info.
The most effective way to prevent theft is to have a smartphone kill switch. That is the ability to wipe the data and disable the device remotely from a computer. Apple already introduced the feature to its iPhones and Google declared it is in the process of integrating the feature in Android.
There have been debates nationally, as well as locally, on the matter. Minnesota decided to pass a smartphone kill switch bill this May.
Now California is close to follow Minnesota in adopting a smartphone kill switch law. The California Assembly approved a bill requiring all the smartphones sold in the state to feature a kill switch function. The state Senate approved the bill and now it will have to approve the amendments introduced by the assembly. The last step for the bill to become a law will be represented by the signature of Governor Jerry Brown.
Nevertheless, you have to pay attention to what smartphone you are buying. Branded phones come with some advantages. Now we can easily buy devices from online retailers and recently a Chinese brand sold two smartphones, the Star N9500 and the Orient N9500, that contained spyware.
Smartphone kill switch will protect users against theft
According to the bill, all the smartphones sold in California after July 1, 2015, must feature the kill switch. The bill specifically states that smartphones must have this option enabled by default. Users must be able to remotely wipe the smartphone’s content and lock the device. By entering a code, users can later unblock their smartphones. The kill switch function will need to be designed to resist attempt to replace the OS.
We presume that phones being sold now will still be on the market in the summer of 2015. The bill states that if a smartphone introduced earlier “cannot reasonably be reengineered”, the producer will not break the law, PC World notes.
The tech industry has strangely opposed the smartphone kill switch request for a long time, but now they start to embrace it.