California cares about its residents, so much so that state legislators are proposing a measure that would require all smartphones sold within its borders to feature a so-called "kill switch" that would allow owners to deactivate them remotely in the case of theft.
The unprecedented bill is due to be proposed sometime this spring, and would theoretically go into effect in 2015. The state senators behind the measure are adamant about the inclusion of an anti-theft option to help limit robberies. In San Francisco, two-thirds of all thefts involve mobile devices; in Oakland, smartphone thefts have surge to three-fourths of all robberies.
"[Members of the mobile industry] have a choice. They can either be a part of the problem or part of the solution, especially when there is one readily available," said State Senator Mark Leno.
But CTIA-The Wireless Association, a wireless industry trade group, thinks the move is overly single-minded and would unfairly prevent devices from being reused. The group has suggested a cross-country stolen phone database as a preferable alternative.