Kill Switch Becomes Law for Cell Phones


iPhone 6Governor Jerry Brown of California this month signed into law a bill that requires smartphones sold in California to include anti-theft protection, or what has been called a “Kill Switch” already turned on, meaning that the purchaser would not have to go into the phone settings to turn it on after buying it, California is the first state to mandate the kill switches be turned on by default at the factory. The cell phone makers have until mid-2015 to make it happen.

I personally think this is a wise move and something that should have happened, since people are normally not smart enough to turn on the switch after buying the phones. How many people made backups of their Windows 7/8 PCs after getting it home?


So to protect the end user, and I won’t make any California Jokes, having the Kill Switch does make a lot of sense. I do understand the extra cost that this will entail, but when you are selling phones at the profit margins that the phone companies are making, plus once they start disabling phones that “fall off the truck” they might start seeing the resell values go up, and theft rates go down. The companies that are really going to get hurt is the third party phone repair companies,

So how does a Kill Switch work?

Your phone gets stolen, you contact your provider, they send a signal to your phone, and it dies. iPhone 7

Simple right? Unless, of course, the switch is off, no-one has hacked into the phone, the phone hasn’t already been sabotaged, you reported it in time and the thieves have not found a way to get around the switch. Lets finally keep in mind that when you go buy the iPhone 6, and if someone swipes it, you activate the Kill Switch, its not like the motherboard melts, and there is still a chance all your personal information can be pulled out?

Lets keep in mind, there was a time that Macs didn’t get viruses, per popular opinion, now there is an app that will make your iPhone 6 useless to steal? Again, good for California to make it mandatory, now we just have to hope that it works.

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1 Comment

  1. I will never understand the need to be in constant touch with everyone in the world every minute of every day. Or the need to put every bit of information about you in a handheld device that can be misplaced (“Has anyone seen my cell phone?”, asked Mom as she rushed around the house in an effort to get to work on time.) Or inadvertently stolen ( “Someone stole my purse! I had everything in that purse, everything!”) Or even accidentally thrown or given away (“You took my old jacket to the Goodwill?! My phone was in that jacket!!) I can understand needing a way to get help in an emergency and there not being any phone available, but a Kill Switch? How will law enforcement be able to track down your murderer by monitoring your phone if the Kill Switch has been activated? Or is it only TV and movie cops that do that.

    Anyway, I’m glad I don’t have one, too much trouble. And whatever happened to the fantasy of spending time alone on a deserted island for a while for some peace and quiet?

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