Minnesota to mandate smartphone “Kill Switch”

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is the first governor to mandate “kill switches” in smartphones. It’s a feature that lets you remotely disable your phone, making it useless for whoever steals it.

Minnesota State Representative Joe Atkins said, “Literally one out of every three robberies in the United States is related to smartphone theft, and they’re becoming increasingly violent.”

Minnesota lawmakers believe disabling a phone will make it worthless for thieves and protect people’s personal information.

If your smartphone is lost or stolen, someone else can make phone calls send text messages to people on your contact list and also access your mobile apps and social media accounts. The “kill switch” would prevent that by disabling your phone.

Ronnie Wheat of Agawam told 22News, “I’d like to see that happen in Massachusetts also. If it gets stolen or lost, you know, personal contacts, it might get used for illegal things.”

However, some people are concerned about hackers who may find a way to control the “kill switch” function.

Beekeo Levan said, “It opens up a whole new can of worms you know. So “Find My Phone” that’s good enough, and I think it’s up to the companies, the companies that make the phones, like Samsung or Apple or Google to implement those type of security.”

Lawmakers in California, New York and Illinois are also considering similar bills.

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