A bill in the California Senate that would have required smartphones to have kill switches installed by the factory was narrowly defeated on Thursday.
The legislation, put together by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, would have made it mandatory for all new phones to have switches that could shut down the phone in the event of theft.
The measure was defeated by a vote of 19-17 vote.
As previously reported, a new Consumer Reports study showed the number of smartphones stolen in America nearly doubled last year, indicating just how big of a problem smartphone theft is in this country. In addition, approximately 1 out of every 3 Americans does not use any security measures to protect their phone.
“This technology exists, and until it is pre-enabled on every new phone purchased, consumers will continue to be the innocent victims of thieves who bank on the fact that these devices can be resold at a profit on the black market,” said Leno.
“With their no vote, 17 members of the Senate chose to protect billion dollar industry profits over the safety of the constituents they were elected to serve,” added Gascón.