If California lawmakers have their way, the growing trend of cell phone theft could soon come to a screeching halt. State Senator Mark Leno recently introduced a bill that would require all smartphones and tablets sold in California after January 1 of next year to include a “kill switch” – a form of anti-theft technology that makes devices unusable after they’re stolen and therefore very tough to sell. If passed, the new bill would subject manufacturers to a fine of up to $2,500 for each device sold without a kill switch. Though only proposed in California, the bill’s effects may be seen throughout the country, as companies probably wouldn’t make cell phones meant only to be sold in California. With over 2,400 cell phones stolen in San Francisco last year – which is 23 percent more than in 2012 – it’s clear some kind of deterrent is needed. There are drawbacks to the kill switch – hackers could render your cell phone useless from afar – but this bill, if passed, would likely do more good than harm.

Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is Managing Director, Digital Media Group at Landmark Ventures/ShellyPalmer a technology focused Investment Banking & Advisory practice specializing in M&A, Financings, Strategic Partnerships and Innovation Access. He is Fox 5 New York's On-air Tech Expert and well known for his work on Fox Television's Shelly Palmer Digital Living. For more information, visit shellypalmer.com.

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