A proposed law “which would render a smartphone useless after it was stolen — on all smartphones sold in California” failed in the Senate because of fear “that businesses might feel that California was being overly strict about regulating technology, which could discourage tech companies from doing business there” as reported in the New York Times.

Bill sponsor George Gascón, San Francisco’s district attorney said:

Today’s decision by the State Senate is disheartening, given the rampant rate of victimization…

This technology already exists, but it needs to be deployed in a way which doesn’t rely on consumers to seek out the solutions and turn them on. That’s all this legislation does, it takes existing technology and makes it a standard feature on all smartphones.

With their no vote, 17 members of the Senate chose to protect billion-dollar industry profits over the safety of the constituents they were elected to serve.

The Bill could be reconsidered before the end of May, so this issue may not be dead this session if the public raises enough dissatisfaction with the Senate’s vote.

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