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Calif. passes law requiring smartphone kill switch technology

On Monday, California Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation requiring all smartphones sold in the state to include “kill switch” technology as an anti-theft measure.

According to the bill, SB-962, any smartphone manufactured on or after July 1, 2015, must come with software, hardware, or both, that can “render inoperable the essential features…of the smartphone to an unauthorized user when the smartphone is not in the [the authorized user's] possession.”

At any given time, however, users would be able to opt-out of or disable the kill switch feature. Those selling smartphones without the technology could face a $500 to $2,500 penalty per violation, the bill said.

With the law, California follows suit with Minnesota, which enacted the country's first-ever kill switch law for smartphones in May. The Minnesota legislation also takes effect next July.

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