California to Require Smartphone Kill Switches

The Golden State is poised to be the first in the country to require software to shutdown stolen smartphones.
1:46 | 05/09/14

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Transcript for California to Require Smartphone Kill Switches
latest on a new initiative to stop a wave of cell phone thefts. California could become the first state in the company that would require software in all cell phones that would shut them down if they're stoling. Neal Karlinsky has the story. Reporter: This morning, state low make lawmakers are cracking down. Trying to stop thieves on subways, buses and the city street. It has a name, apple picking. I define it as a crime of convenience. Reporter: It's not just iPhones. A new study reveals smartphones of all kinds have been robbed from one in ten owners. Now, a new killswitch bill is closer to becoming law in California. Approved Thursday by the state senate, it would be the first state in the nation trying to protect people by forcing smartphonemakers to preload a so-called killswitch, a way to lock down a phone if it's stolen. Tech companies initially br ly bristled at the idea of what being told to do. But apple and Microsoft eased their opposition. Once you tell them they have to do it, they think it's not such a great idea because of pressure, I believe, from the carrier partners, who want to sell you replacement phones to the tune of billions of dollars a year. Reporter: It's not just about the loss of a gadget. Megan Boken lost her life because of her phone. She was targeted because she was talking on her smartphone. Reporter: A proposed law is working through congress, as well, trying to cut down on a wave of crime by making phones useless to anyone but the owner. For "Good morning America," Neal Karlinsky, ABC news, Seattle.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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