So, Minnesota is leading the nation again. This time we’ll be the first state to mandate the addition of a kill switch designed to take the incentive out of stealing cellphones. Good intention, but you know where that kind of thing leads.
My cellphone provider says that — right now — a simple telephone call will serve to shut down a stolen or lost cellphone. The provider rep laughed when I explained about the kill switch.
Still concerned, I searched Android apps for anti-theft protection and stopped counting after 150. I discovered phone protections that include locking stolen or lost phones, with the option of erasing all information, and even triggering a phone’s webcam to take a picture of anyone using the phone. There’s a lot more, but you get the idea.
When I moved to the Twin Cities in 1963, Minnesota banned colored oleomargarine. So people drove to Iowa, where every state-line gas station sold it by the case. I see a similar thing happening with cellphones. Minnesota will stand alone with its mandated and redundant requirements that will increase the complexity — and most likely the cost — of cellphones. So, we’ll all drive across the state line to buy our next-generation phones — the same way we travel to Wisconsin for Sunday beer and firecrackers.
Henry Owen lives in Minnetonka.