Mandatory 'kill switch' on smartphones becomes law
May 14, 2014 — 3:49pm
A first-in-the nation measure would require smartphone manufacturers to install mandatory “kill switch” technology to deter thefts became law with Gov. Mark Dayton’s signature Wednesday.
“This is a very important step forward for protecting young people and protecting people of all ages,” Dayton said.
The law mandates that smartphone manufacturers equip their phones with the technology by July 1, 2015. The “kill switch” enables a smartphone owner to remotely disable a smartphone or tablet if it is lost or stolen, rendering the devices useless. The law also prohibits retailers from paying cash for used phones, rather than electronic transfer or check. Despite initial reluctance, the wireless industry announced last month that it would install the technology by 2015.
“At this point, it’s a race to get that technology loaded onto phones so that it will be universally available on smartphones,” said Sen. Katie Sieben, DFL-Newport, who co-authored the legislation with Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights.
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