California is known for setting trends, but their recent attempt to pioneer the requirement of kill switches on our mobile devices failed by just two votes. State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) introduced a bill that would require all mobile devices sold in the state of California come equipped with a digital kill switch rendering the device useless. iPhone theft is big business and thieves are always looking for clever ways to snatch your device. The district attorneys office in San Francisco reported more than half of all robberies committed there last year included smartphone theft. With this option coming standard on smartphones, it makes them far less attractive to nab since it would hold almost no value.
Sen. Leno didn’t want the bills reach to stop there though. Fines for retailers selling devices without a kill-switch, used devices excluded of course, would be fined anywhere from $500-$2500. Both retailers and manufacturers wouldn’t be able to shrug off the fines either. Eventually they would find themselves out of business in the state of California since this bill would’ve given lawmakers the authority to ban those violating the law from conducting business in California; a loss of almost 40 million consumers.
Sen. Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) was one of those who voted against the bill citing it would undermine consumer choice. Sen. Fuller believes a law of this nature would be the beginning of similar technology mandates for other items like automobiles.
There was a study done by Creighton University recently that reported consumers as a whole could save $2.6 billion annually with a kill-switch mandate. Of those surveyed in their study, the majority want this technology installed on their phones. With the savings consumers realize and demand present for this technology, it begs to question who lawmakers are listening to?
Although the bill didn’t pass, 19-17 vote, Sen. Leno will consider bringing this law back to the floor for a vote before the May 31st deadline.
So with this in mind, I’d like to conduct a poll. Would you like your smartphone to come equipped with a kill-switch? Please leave comments below too.