In 2012 over half of thefts in San Francisco involved cell phone theft. In the same year over three quarters of thefts in Oakland were cell phone theft. Over the past decade we have seen the price of premium smartphones continue to rise and the presence of these premium phones to be more and more ubiquitous among the general population. Consequently, robbers and crooks are making the bet that they can rob almost anyone at anytime and the victim will not only have on their person a wallet or purse with cash and cards, but also a cell phone worth over half of a thousand dollars.
Wireless carriers are starting to change their mind when it comes to mandating kill switches in smartphones. Earlier this year a California Senator proposed a bill that supported the idea of kill switches.
Smartphone theft is an ongoing concern among users because the resale value of the devices are very high. In order to combat the problem, a Democratic Senator from California has proposed a bill to make the installation of kill switches in cell phones mandatory. The kill switch would enable a lost or stolen phone to be completely deactivated. The goal of the kill switch is not only the fact that the smartphone can be shut down remotely, it is also that just the option being installed would deter theft from even occurring because no one wants a smartphone that doesn't work.
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