US Federal Law Proposes 'kill Switches' For Smartphones

By 01:16 Mon, 19 Jul 2021 Comments

The ability to remotely wipe your data has been available on smartphones for quite some time now, however, a recent proposed law would create this technology mandatory on all recent cell phones if it's passed.

In fact, the recent proposed law takes it a step further by calling for 'murder switches' on all smartphones, so users can not only remotely wipe their data, but also render their phones non-operational in the event of theft.

The proposal is called the Smartphone Theft Prevention Act and is being introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar, Barbara Mikulski, and Richard Blumenthal.

The proposal does have its opponents, however. CTIA's (a wireless industry group) Vice President of government affairs, Jot Carpenter, doesn't think too highly of the proposed law:

"While Senator Klobuchar and CTIA are of like mind when it comes to wanting to prevent the theft of wireless devices, we clearly disagree on how to accomplish that goal...rather than impose technology mandates, a better approach would be to enact Senator Schumer's legislation to criminalize tampering with mobile device identifiers. This would build on the industry's efforts to create the stolen device databases, give law enforcement another tool to combat criminal behavior, and leave carriers, manufacturers, and software developers free to create new, innovative loss and theft prevention tools for consumers who want them."

If the law is passed, then these 'murder switches' would need to be added to smartphones without any additional cost to the consumer.

Do you think 'murder switches' should be included in all smartphones?




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