Klobuchar will introduce “kill switch” federal legislation to give victims of cell phone theft the ability to wipe any personally identifiable or financial information from the device and render the phone inoperable to thieves
Klobuchar joined University of Minnesota students, law enforcement, and state leaders to discuss efforts to increase student safety; there were 25 reported robberies on campus during the fall semester, the most since 2005
Minneapolis, MN – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today highlighted legislation to require a “kill switch” on smart phones at an event with University of Minnesota students, law enforcement, and state leaders. Klobuchar announced she will introduce new federal legislation to give victims of cell phone theft the ability to wipe any personally identifiable or financial information from the device and render the phone inoperable to thieves. According to law enforcement statistics, nearly one-in-three robberies involve cell phone theft, and there were 25 reported robberies on the University of Minnesota campus during the fall semester, which is the most since 2005. Minnesota Representative Joe Atkins will introduce similar “kill switch” legislation on the state level.
“We need to crack down on these criminals who are stealing and reselling these devices, costing consumers more than $30 billion every year and threatening public safety,” said Klobuchar. “With nearly one-in-three robberies involving phone theft, this legislation will take important steps to protect the identity of victims and cut the incentive for criminals to target smart phones.”
Klobuchar’s legislation would require all phones sold in the United States to include kill switch type technology that would wipe the personal data off the phone, render the phone permanently inoperable to anyone but the owner, and prevent it from being reactivated on a network by anyone but the owner.
Earlier this year, Klobuchar called on the five major wireless companies to address these thefts and ensure consumers have the most advanced security technology at their fingertips. Advanced technology like “kill switches” would deter criminals who intend to illegally resell the devices, but these features are not available on all phones at this time.