Following the bill introduced in California, US lawmakers have now begun pushing for a universal smartphone kill-switch. The Smartphone Theft Prevention Act was put forward by Senators Amy Klobuchar, Barbara Mikulski, Richard Blumenthal, and Mazie Hirono.
It would require all phones sold in the U.S. to include a free-to-use kill switch that would allow device owners “to wipe their personal data off the phone, render the phone permanently inoperable to anyone but the owner, and prevent it from being reactivated on a network by anyone but the owner. In a statement on Klobuchar’s site, the new bill is said to have wide support from law enforcement officials as well as lawmakers.
The previous effort in California led to such a solution being developed by Samsung with the support of California state lawmakers, but it died as carriers refused to implement the solution, with the industry preferring to rely on the recently completed industry-wide device blacklist as a deterrent instead of implementing the kill switch solution, citing issues with additional infrastructure needs and increased costs.