Senator Mark Leno Pushes Legislation to Curb iPhone Theft
District Attorney George Gascon's long crusade against iPhone theft -- or "Apple-picking," as it's sometimes called in tech-geek patois -- may have finally gotten some traction.
Protection for this guy...
Perhaps local politicians realized that it's useless to offer free Wi-Fi on Market Street if users have to constantly guard against rampant device theft. Gascon has long insisted that iPhone theft is a scourge in San Francisco, and that Apple has a "social responsibility" to stop it.
Today, he and Senator Mark Leno announced Senate Bill 962, which will mandate that smartphone companies install kill-switch technology to render their devices useless if stolen. If the bill becomes law, it will prevent retailers and telecom companies such as AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Apple from selling any device that isn't equipped with special anti-theft safeguards.
In press materials, they cited eye-numbing statistics on the prevalence of smartphone theft. Evidently, it accounts for roughly one-third of all robberies in the nation, half of those reported in San Francisco, and a shocking 75 percent in Oakland.
For its part, Apple unveiled a fingerprint scanner for the iPhone 5S in September, meant to prevent thieves from accessing the operating system on any pilfered device. Theoretically, the scanner checks for signs of life when a human digit brushes over its screen, so it won't induce an iPhone burglar to cut off your finger. Phew.