US senators considering smartphone 'kill switch' law

US lawmakers are bidding to force smartphone makers to include a ‘kill switch’ on all future phones.

Senators have proposed federal legislation that would require all smartphone makers to provide a feature that could render the phone unusable if stolen.

It follows an earlier proposal in California that would require phones sold in the state to include a similar function.

The Smartphone Theft Prevention Act has been proposed by Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn), along with three other senators, Barbara Mikulski (D-Md), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).

According to the draft version of the act, owners would need to be able to deactivate and remotely wipe their personal information from their device if it became lost or is stolen.

Only Apple’s iPhone currently comes close to meeting the regulations thanks to its iCloud functionality.

“Cell phone theft has become a big business for thieves looking to cash in on these devices and any valuable information they contain, costing consumers more than $30 billion every year and endangering countless theft victims,” Klobuchar said in a statement.

“This legislation will help eliminate the incentives for criminals to target smartphones by empowering victims to take steps to keep their information private; protect their identity and finances; and render the phone inoperable to the thieves.”

According to the latest statistics, nearly one in three robberies in the US involve phone thefts. In cities, that figure rises to more than 50 per cent.

It has led to some police departments calling the theft of mobile phones ‘Apple Picking’.

It is thought the recent increase in smartphones featuring fingerprint scanners is a direct result of moves by lawmakers to bring in such laws.

Comments

Be the first to comment…

Back to top
Close
T3 Newsletter
Sign up to recieve the T3 newsletters by entering your details below

Your Details

As you're registering with us. we'd like to think that you'd enjoy receiving the following emails; if you'd rather not receive them, please untick the boxes:

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and it's group companies containing news, special offers and product information
I agree to the terms of use and privacy policy and confirm that I am over 16 years of age *
Close
Log in or Join

By clicking below you agree to our terms and conditions and our privacy policy

Log in to T3.com with your preferred social network

Log in with your T3.com account

CloseJoinPlease complete these additional details

Join T3.com with your preferred social network

OR

Join T3.com

Please tick this box to confirm you are 16 years old or over

Just so we know you're human

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Close Edit your profile

Change your password

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Social networks

You have authorised these social networks to interact with your T3.com account.

Please ensure you deactivate or revoke access to this website from within your social networks settings to ensure all permissions are removed.

Close Forgotten your password

Forgotten your password?

Please enter the email address that you used to sign up and we'll send you a new password

Close
Forgotten password
Don't have a T3 Account? Join now