Signed by Governor Mark Dayton, Minnesota has become the first state with a law on the books requiring a remote shut-off for smartphones and tablets. Simply put, Governor Dayton has signed the ‘kill switch’ bill into law. This is Chapter 241, SF1740 and will go into effect as of July 1, 2015.
Governor Dayton mentioned how “this law will help combat the growing number of violent cell phone thefts in Minnesota.” Part of the lead into having this bill signed into law included testimony from University of Minnesota police who said “up to” 62 percent of on-campus robberies are cell phone related. The Federal Communications Commission have also said that “nearly” 1 in 3 US robberies involve phone theft.
With stats like these and previous ‘kill switch’ chatter coming from other states to include California and New York — it seems likely that other states will soon be following Minnesota. Details coming from the Governor Blog on Minnesota.gov include the following;
“This new kill switch function will allow smartphone owners to remotely disable their smartphone if it is lost or stolen, rendering the devices useless to thieves and reducing the incentive for a growing wave of violent cell phone thefts.”
Along with having kill switches available on devices, the law also touched on some other factors. Once this law goes into effect any business that deals in used cell phones will have some extra rules to follow. This means better record keeping with requirements to document the “make and model of device, date, time, place, name and address of the seller, record of the buyer’s check or electronic transfer, seller’s driver’s license number or similar ID document.”
The seller will also be required to sign a statement saying the phone isn’t stolen, and they have to be at least 18 years of age. The buyer then has to keep these records for a minimum of three years.