Could kill switch reduce thieves' attraction to cellphones?

By Alex Davis |

Published 02/25 2014 01:06PM

Updated 02/25 2014 01:32PM

SPRINGFIELD -- A bill which would give cellphone owners a little more power could be up for debate in the General Assembly. WCIA-3's Alex Davis keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

The proposal provides cellphone owners with a kill switch. It would "kill" the phone. Some lawmakers think it would deter potential thieves from targeting cellphones.

We've all misplaced our cellphones a time or two, but some of us, like Akram Hindieh, have had one stolen.

"I was busy with my gift shop, visiting with a customer. And I left my cellphone on the counter, and then, all of a sudden, it was gone."

Hindieh says, even though he had a high-tech smartphone, his options for reclaiming it were slim-to-none.

"I went up to the ATT to find out if they can trace it or if they can do something to help me out. And the question is, no, it's gone, it's gone."

Stories like Hindieh's are why some lawmakers want cellphone manufacturers to add "kill switches" to cellphones.

"I mean, it would be an absolutely good idea, because, right now, the people can steal your phone. They can sell it within half an hour, for five or six hundred bucks."

The owner of s lost phone could flip a switch to render the phone completely inoperable.

"Oh yeah, because I lost it anyway, might as well not let anyone use it after that, it'd be good."

But, with phones being such a big part of our lives these days, some believe the kill switch might be "overkill," saying lawmakers have bigger fish to fry.

"The phones have become an appendage to him and I think, if their phone disappears, they're calling their provider right away and cancelling."

"I think there's a lot of things they should be addressing rather than this."

Even more, the bill requires providers to insure smartphones against theft if the phone can't be rendered completely inoperable.

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