California’s liberal lawmakers proudly announced today that they are unable to locate, and take advantage, of Apple’s App Store, or Google’s Play Store. To remedy their inability to fully utilize today’s smartphone technology they have decided to instead, introduce legislation requiring smartphone manufacturers to provide a “kill switch” on each device sold in the state.
What is a “kill switch” you ask? Well, for those of us who have taken the five minutes required to learn what an app is, and how to install them on our phone, a “kill switch” will function the same way as the “Find my Phone” app works. For those who don’t like, or are not familiar with, the “Find My Phone” app, you might also recognize a “kill switch” as being similar to “Where’s my Droid”, “Lookout”, “Android Lost”, “Find My Phone”, “GadgetTrak”, “Device Locator”, “IHound”, “If Found +”, “Mobile Spy”, “Phone Trace”, “LoJack”….you get the idea. There are a ton of apps currently available on various app marketplaces that allow users to trace, lock, or delete, their phone. Best of all, most are free or cost less than a dollar. Unfortunately, such technology eludes the lawmakers whose very districts cover Silicon Valley, the birthplace of Apple, Google, and thousands of third-party app developers.
Why is this necessary, you might ask? Well, according to California’s technologically-inept leaders, cell phone theft is on the rise and, apparently, this is their solution to combating that. Never mind that the average gang member is 17 years old which, we can safely assume, also translates to “they’re more educated on smartphone use than the average California lawmaker”. Assuming I got my translation correct, I think it’s also safe to assume that the average cell phone thief is aware that such apps are commonly used and, yet, chooses to steal them anyway. If my assumptions are on par (and I think we can agree that they probably are), what rationale exists to believe that this nanny-law will lead to a reduction in cell phone theft? Unfortunately, the answer to that question was not provided, so we’ll just assume it’s lost on some lawmaker’s iPhone and cannot be recovered (wait, there’s an app for recovering lost data…oh, never mind!).