"Kill Switch Bill": Benefits For Smartphones, Signed Into Law In Minnesota

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By Tanya Diente | May 16, 2014 10:48 AM EST

According to Engadget, the first smartphone "Kill Switch" bill has been signed into Law in Minnesota by Governor Mark Dayton (Photo). This makes Minnesota the first US State that makes it illegal to sell mobile phones without anti-theft software pre-installed. The law will take effect July 1, 2015, thus giving retailers, carriers, and manufacturers enough time to ensure, that all their mobile phone products are compliant with the new directive. 

When buying smartphones, users put a lot of thought and consideration on the model, brand, the features and even on the color of the phone. It becomes an investment not just on money, but also of the users' privacy and personal information. Customers want to be assured that the phone they purchase is not stolen or a clone.  They would want a phone that ensures its legibility (not stolen) to give value to their money. These apprehensions brought about the "Kill Switch" bill, which is signed into law to ensure that costumers only buy phones that are not stolen or are originally made from its manufacturer.  

Importance of "Kill Switch"

The smartphone "Kill Switch" bill criminalizes the purchase of used phones for cash. Now vendors will be required to pay sellers by check, or by electronic transfer, thus ensuring a paper trail for used (and possibly stolen) devices. It would also criminalize selling these phones without complying with new recordkeeping requirements. These requirements include the installation of security cameras and the mandatory tracking of writing down the driver's license numbers for trade-ins. 

As reported by The Verge, police records show that it has become common for thieves to snatch these high-valued devices.  In the US, according to the FCC, it is estimated  that for every three robberies that occur, smartphones are always involved.  Law enforcement believes that with the new law in place this should greatly reduce the number of muggings and criminal incidents involving smartphones.

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