If California lawmakers have their way, the growing trend of cell phone theft could soon come to a screeching halt. State Senator Mark Leno recently introduced a bill that would require all smartphones and tablets sold in California after January 1 of next year to include a “kill switch” – a form of anti-theft technology that makes devices unusable after they’re stolen and therefore very tough to sell. If passed, the new bill would subject manufacturers to a fine of up to $2,500 for each device sold without a kill switch. Though only proposed in California, the bill’s effects may be seen throughout the country, as companies probably wouldn’t make cell phones meant only to be sold in California. With over 2,400 cell phones stolen in San Francisco last year – which is 23 percent more than in 2012 – it’s clear some kind of deterrent is needed. There are drawbacks to the kill switch – hackers could render your cell phone useless from afar – but this bill, if passed, would likely do more good than harm.
About Shelly Palmer
Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.