California Smartphone ‘Kill Switch’ Bill Fails

SACRAMENTO (AP) — A bill that would force electronics manufacturers to install a shut-off function in all smartphones has failed in the state Senate but will likely be revived later this spring.

The legislation by Democratic Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco responds to a crime problem that is exploding across the country. In San Francisco, for example, the district attorney’s office says more than half of all robberies last year included the theft of a smartphone.

Leno’s legislation, SB962, fell two votes shy of a majority Thursday. It would have required companies to manufacture smartphones with technology that would make them inoperable when not in the owner’s possession.

The wireless industry prefers a voluntary approach, but Leno says the technology must be mandatory to act as a deterrent to thieves.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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