Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Mobile & Wireless

California Leaders Want Smartphone ‘Kill Switch’

SAN FRANCISCO – Californian leaders want to make it compulsory for smartphones or tablets sold in the state to have built-in “kill switches” to counter the rocketing number of thefts of the devices.

SAN FRANCISCO – Californian leaders want to make it compulsory for smartphones or tablets sold in the state to have built-in “kill switches” to counter the rocketing number of thefts of the devices.

State senator Mark Leno and other elected officials on Friday unveiled legislation requiring that new smartphones or tablets have technology that could be used to remotely render them useless.

Backers called the bill the first of its kind in the United States; opponents fear it may allow hackers to shut down people’s devices.

Smartphone Kill Switch“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, a Democrat representing San Francisco.

“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.”

The legislation would leave service providers or manufacturers, including iPhone maker Apple, facing fines if smartphones or tablets sold in California beginning next year don’t include mechanisms to instantly disable them.

The bill will be introduced within a few months, according to Leno.

More than half of robberies in San Francisco involve mobile devices, and that share is three-quarters across the bay in the city of Oakland, according to Leno’s office.

“The wireless industry must take action to end the victimization of its customers,” San Francisco district attorney George Gascon said.

“This legislation will require the industry to stop debating the possibility of implementing existing technological theft

Related: Venafi Launches Certificate-based Mobile Device “Kill Switch”

Related: ‘Internet Kill Switch’ – Is this Technically Feasible in the US?

Written By

AFP 2023

Click to comment

Expert Insights

Related Content

Mobile & Wireless

Technical details published for an Arm Mali GPU flaw leading to arbitrary kernel code execution and root on Pixel 6.

Mobile & Wireless

Apple rolled out iOS 16.3 and macOS Ventura 13.2 to cover serious security vulnerabilities.

Mobile & Wireless

Apple’s iOS 12.5.7 update patches CVE-2022-42856, an actively exploited vulnerability, in old iPhones and iPads.

Mobile & Wireless

Two vulnerabilities in Samsung’s Galaxy Store that could be exploited to install applications or execute JavaScript code by launching a web page.

Mobile & Wireless

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says her personal cell phone was hacked and linked it to the release of documents by the January 6...

Cybercrime

A digital ad fraud scheme dubbed "VastFlux" spoofed over 1,700 apps and peaked at 12 billion ad requests per day before being shut down.

Mobile & Wireless

Infonetics Research has shared excerpts from its Mobile Device Security Client Software market size and forecasts report, which tracks enterprise and consumer security client...

Application Security

Software maker Adobe on Tuesday released security patches for 29 documented vulnerabilities across multiple enterprise-facing products and warned that hackers could exploit these bugs...