As we’ve previously covered, the state of California has been in the process of passing a bill that would require all smartphones sold within the state to come with a remote killswitch option to deter thieves. The bill was passed by the state legislature earlier this year, and today it was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, as noted by CNET.
The law goes into effect in July 2015, and will require all smartphones sold within the state to include an option for remotely disabling a stolen device. Google has already plans to meet the requirements of this law with its upcoming Android L release, but now such features will be required by law on all future Android, Windows Phone, and other handsets by default, meaning OEMs distributing older versions of Android will need to find a new solution.
Law enforcement officials have previously pointed out that the release of Apple’s Activation Lock has contributed to a decline in smartphone theft in some cities, and government officials were at one point working hard at trying to find a way to crack the system. The law will require such features to come enabled by default on all devices.
Mississippi passed a similar bill earlier this year. Neither the Mississippi bill nor the California one apply to tablets or other cellular devices, though in theory a second law could be passed that would require those devices to also support these features.
A fine of up to $2,500 will be assessed for every device sold after July 1st, 2015 that does not comply with this new law.