Connor Livingston Connor Livingston is a tech blogger who will be launching his own site soon, Lythyum. He lives in Oceanside, California, and has never surfed in his life. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

California’s “kill switch” bill only need the governor’s approval now

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The California state Senate on Monday passed a bill crafted to protect against smartphone theft by requiring manufacturers turn on a “kill switch” when a device is first activated, something Apple currently employs in iOS as an opt-in feature. California’s legislative push to require so-called “kill switches” of smartphone manufacturers moved closer to becoming law, as a bill passed through the Senate with a final tally of 27-8, reports The Wall Street Journal. The state’s governor, Jerry Brown, has 12 days to sign the bill into law.

A bill that mandates antitheft technology to come pre-installed on all smartphones sold in California is headed to the governor after passing a final California Senate vote on Monday. The bill, introduced by state Sen. Mark Leno and sponsored by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, asks that device makers put so-called “kill-switch” technology on every smartphone, though users could choose to opt-out of the security services. The software lets users lock the phone if it is stolen, making it inoperable. The bill passed with a 27 to 8 vote. The proposed legislation, formally named SB962, addresses what government officials have called an “epidemic.” One in 10 smartphone owners in the US has had a phone stolen, according to the mobile security firm Lookout. In 2013, more than 3 million Americans were the victims of smartphone theft — nearly twice as many as the year before, according to Consumer Reports. On Gascon’s home turf of San Francisco, more than 65 percent of robberies in 2013 involved a mobile device. The rate jumps up to more than 75 percent across the bay in Oakland.

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Connor Livingston Connor Livingston is a tech blogger who will be launching his own site soon, Lythyum. He lives in Oceanside, California, and has never surfed in his life. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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