The days of crying over your stolen iPhone you left in an Uber after a night at the club will soon be over. “No way. Tell me more!” You say. Well. Okay then.

Starting July 1, 2015, a smart phone kill-switch law will be enforced in the state rest of America is envying right now as snowstorm after snowstorm after polar vortex hits one after another (talking about California, if you didn’t get that). This means, all network-connected phones sold in the Golden State will be required to come equipped with “kill switch” technology.

What’s a Kill Switch?

Don’t worry, it’s not a blade that pops out of your phone. It is however a “switch” that lets owners of stolen or lost smart phones remotely disable and wipe data if needed, thus rendering said mobile devices useless to those slimy kleptos. You’re probably thinking, “Yeah… but I already have Find My iPhone.” As many of us victims of “Apple pickers” know, it always happens to be the one time you forget to turn on the application when your phone goes missing.

The goal of the statute is to set up the kill switch as a default feature. Since the device will basically hold as much use as a brick if the kill switch is intact, potential criminals would eventually be deterred from even thinking about taking a phone in the first place.

Geek Talk Behind the Technology

The switch to the switch has already begun in various forms. Apple’s Activation Lock on the iOS 8 is automatically installed software on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus – the first phones sold in California fully compliant with the new law that will be instated July 1. Tech giant Qualcomm, the producer of Snapdragon processing chips, is also deeply in the loop of implementing a solid solution in this movement and has taken matters a step further by providing mobile kill-switch options beyond only software. Within Android-based hardware, Snapdragon’s mobile processor chip will deliver an extra level of security where factory resets and installing software will be blocked for non-authorized users.

Results have already begun to show with early adaptations of anti-theft devices. Major cities like San Francisco have reported a whopping 38% drop in iPhone theft and New York has experienced a 19% dip as well – proof that once the law is actually in effect, the intentions should pan out.

The Glories of This Ingenious Mandate

Having mandatory kill switch-equipped phones mean greener pastures for our smart technology-driven generation. Losing a smart phone that you probably put your whole paycheck towards is not an easy pill to swallow and as much as it is a first-world kind of problem, our lives, career and social, have become reliant on smart mobile devices to get ahead in a very competitive landscape of young, energetic hustlers.

We do everything on our gadgets – from sending and receiving work emails, sharing job-related social media posts, managing finances, and executing overall communications, to capturing precious moments on our phone’s built-in camera, getting guided to the next destination via Google Maps and looking up information on anything and everything.

A smart phone has become a necessity for us and when it goes M.I.A., so does our existence. Although you might not think about it, important, personal information lies within your phone – in emails, on apps like Facebook and in text messages.

Aside from preventing a monetary loss from losing an actual physical phone, knowing that someone can’t take the social security number you sent to an employer or withdraw the $200 left to your name from the Bank of America app will most definitely put minds at ease.

The Green Grass for the Do-Gooders

This law by Cali way is just the beginning, and boy, is the future looking bright. Other states like Minnesota have also passed similar legislation and the ultimate hope is for an all-compassing kill-switch mandate to sweep the entire nation in order to produce a better, safer environment for the smartphone-using bunch we are. Cause hey, we’re just trying to go about business without anyone threatening to get in our paths, right?

Jessica Oaks

Jessica Oaks is a freelance journalist who loves covering technology news and the ways that technology can make life easier. Follow her on Twitter @TechyJessy.

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Jessica Oaks

Jessica Oaks is a freelance journalist who loves covering technology news and the ways that technology can make life easier. Follow her on Twitter @TechyJessy.

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