The US state of Minnesota has become the first to enact legislation which will make it illegal for a smartphone to be sold without anti-theft “kill switch” software pre-installed.
The idea behind the law is that if smartphone users can remotely disable and wipe their smartphones as soon as they are stolen, then it will deter thieves from stealing them in the first place. Police forces around the US have pushed for such legislation for a number of years, with one in three robberies in the US involving a smartphone, according to the FCC.
However, the legislation fails to have teeth, as it does not require “kill switch” software pre-installed at all, but instead smartphone manufacturers and retailers will simply need to make sure that such antitheft software is either pre-installed or available for download, with the law not specifying the protection of such software, according to The Verge.
Additionally, all major smartphone manufacturers have already committed to offering such remote lock and wipe tools in the near future.
The Minnesota “kill switch” law will come into effect on 1 July 2015.