CA "Kill Switch" Bill aims to decrease phone thefts

Aug 26, 2014 7:41 PM by Joe Moeller

Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill aimed to protect our cell phones from thieves. All new phones sold in California will soon have a "kill switch."

Cell phones are a part of our everyday lives. With more phones in our hands, comes more thefts. Its easy to locate those who have dealt with a stolen or lost phone.

"I have personally lost several phones." says Chico resident Art Moniz.

"Just from past experiences I have lost my phone" says Chico resident Jay Cee.

Chico Detective Andrei Carlisle says phones are a target.

"We get a lot of reports of cell phones that are stolen" says Carlisle.

The new California Bill SB-962 requires smart phone manufacturers to build phones with a kill switch. If your phone is stolen you go on-line, via any computer, enter your information and the phone would be disabled.

"I feel you should be able to remotely or on a desktop be able to deactivate your phone." added Cee.

Carlisle says this may bring the number of stolen phones down.

"If the phones are completely turned off and are unusable the point of having it, there is no point in having that phone." says Carlisle.

There are other worries about the bill.

"I think phones will still have some sort of face value and phones will still be stolen, but I think it will make people think twice about stealing a phone." says Cee.

The point of the bill is to bring down the amount of thefts, some question if the added feature will take a toll on their pocket books.

"Well every time you want to get something new they want to increase the price and more bells and whistles so I mean you are going to have to pay for it." says Moniz.

Although many are in favor of the bill, some worry the phones will always be target for thefts. The law will go into effect July 1st of next year. This all means cell phone companies have a little less than a year to make phones with the kill switch.


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