California's smartphone kill switch bill fails to pass the state's Senate

A California bill hoping to add “kill switches” to smartphones failed to pass in the state’s Senate earlier this week. Lawmakers have been trying to come up with a solution to combat rising smartphone theft, and have even called out big manufacturers to address the issue. But the bill, proposed by Sen. Mark Leno, a San Francisco Democrat, didn’t receive enough votes; it did obtain a vote of 19 to 17 in favor, though it needed 21 in order to pass.

A California bill that would have required cellphone makers to install a “kill switch” to render stolen devices inoperable has died in the California state Senate. The measure, proposed by Sen. Mark Leno, a San Francisco Democrat, received a vote of 19 to 17 in favor on Thursday, but the bill failed to garner the 21 votes required for passage. The proposed legislation was viewed by some as over-broad — the language was written in such a way that it would have required the anti-theft technology in a range of devices, not just mobile phones. Device makers and carriers had opposed the bill while law enforcement had backed it. The bill comes amid a global debate on how to address a rising trend of smartphone theft.

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