Smartphone kill switch bill signed into law in California
A new law that was signed into effect on Monday requires all smartphones manufactured after 1 July 2015 and sold within California to include a kill switch. This will allow users to remotely lock their phones and delete all data if they are stolen or lost.
Although the legal reach of the new law does not extend beyond California’s borders, the kill switch feature will likely be adopted by phone manufacturers on handsets sold across the world due to the inefficiency of manufacturing phones exclusively for California.
The law requires the use of a system that will automatically lock a handset and render it useless when triggered by an authorised user. The system must be installed in new smartphones and must be able to withstand attempts by thieves to reinstall the operating system. However, users can deactivate it if they want to.
Under section 7908 of the California Public Utilities Code, the tool can also be used by the police to cut off phone service in specified situations. Typically, this will require a court order, except in emergency cases where there is “immediate danger of death or great bodily injury.”
The law does not specify how the system will lock the smartphone or what will happen to the data once it is locked, allowing each manufacturer to create their own system.
The legislation comes after the state’s law enforcement community pressured phone manufacturers to do something about the growing numbers of smartphone thefts in the state.
“California has just put smartphone thieves on notice,” said California State Senator Mark Leno, who sponsored the legislation.
“Our efforts will effectively wipe out the incentive to steal smartphones and curb this crime of convenience, which is fueling street crime and violence within our communities.”
Online presence vital to luxury brands in China
In order to effectively fight counterfeit products in China, global luxury brands should have an online presence there, according to Angie Au-Yeung, Senior e-commerce Manager of Swiss luxury goods company Richemont.
Google wants your children
Google is revamping certain services in order to make kid-friendly versions so that it can target children under age 13 in many markets, including the United States, legally. Officially, children are not targeted or offered …
Startup wins big with app testing platform
VM5 clinched the top prize at TechCrunch’s Beijing Startup competition for creating a platform that allows users to test an application without the need to install or even download it.
Huawei smartphone deliveries soar by 62 per cent
Thanks to stronger sales channels and higher brand awareness in other countries, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s smartphone shipments in the first half of 2014 surged 62 per cent compared to the same period a year ago, according to Reuters.
No, Microsoft is not making a Google Glass killer
Microsoft is working on a wearable headband that can communicate with a smart phone and other devices, but contrary to rumor, the Alice Band is not a “Google Glass killer.”
The device is, instead, an experiment …
Google Glass can be used for hacking, says experts
Devices with video-capturing capabilities, particularly Google Glass, can uncover the PIN code of your tablet or smartphone, according to cyber forensics experts working at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell.
In Hong Kong’s subway, your boss is a computer
Every night, the Hong Kong subway system undergoes maintenance and engineering repairs, just as does every other subway system in the world. Unlike the others, though, the HK subway’s engineering team has a unique supervisor. …