Relates to a smart phone device "kill switch"; requires the ability to remotely delete data on a smart phone device in the event such device is lost or stolen; provides that such technology is required by July 1, 2015.
STATE OF NEW YORK
March 6, 2014
Introduced by M. of A. TITONE, MOSLEY, OTIS, DINOWITZ, MAGNARELLI, McDO-
NOUGH, DiPIETRO, SCARBOROUGH, GALEF, SEPULVEDA, SIMOTAS -- Multi-Spon-
sored by -- M. of A. BUCHWALD, COOK, CROUCH, GIGLIO, GLICK, GOTTFRIED,
HIKIND, MARKEY, SCHIMEL, STECK, WEISENBERG -- read once and referred
to the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection -- committee
discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
to said committee
AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to smart phone
device "kill switch"
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Legislative intent. The legislature finds that:
2 (a) According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), one in
3 three robberies in the United States involves the theft of a mobile
4 device, making it the number one property crime in the country. Many of
5 these robberies often turn violent with some resulting in the loss of
7 (b) The FCC estimates that between thirty to forty percent of United
8 States street theft involves a mobile device. In fact, more than forty
9 percent of all robberies in New York city involve smartphones and other
10 cell phones.
11 (c) Consumer reports projects that 1.6 million Americans had their
12 smartphones stolen in 2012.
13 (d) According to the New York Times, one hundred thirteen smartphones
14 are lost or stolen every minute in the United States.
15 (e) Major cities are home to the highest concentrations of cell phone
16 theft, and officials in New York and California have been pushing for a
17 cellphone kill switch in those states since April 2012. According to New
18 York state attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, the United States Senate
19 proposal would force the mobile industry to "stop dragging its feet and
20 join us in protecting consumers."
21 (f) In April of 2012, U.S. senator Charles Schumer, D-New York, and
22 New York city police commissioner Ray Kelly announced that the major
23 U.S. cell phone carriers and the Federal Communications Commission have
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 8984--A 2
1 agreed to set up a national database to track reported stolen phones.
2 Senator Schumer also introduced a bill called the mobile device theft
3 deterrence act, which proposes a five-year prison sentence for tampering
4 with the ID numbers of a stolen cell phone.
5 (g) According to press reports, the international trafficking of
6 stolen smartphones by organized criminal organizations has grown expo-
7 nentially in recent years because of how profitable the trade has
9 (h) Replacement of lost and stolen mobile devices was an estimated
10 thirty-billion-dollar business in 2012 according to studies conducted by
11 mobile communications security experts. Additionally, industry publica-
12 tions indicate that the four largest providers of commercial mobile
13 radio services made an estimated seven billion eight hundred million
14 dollars from theft and loss insurance products in 2013.
15 (i) Technological solutions that render stolen mobile communications
16 devices useless already exist, but the industry has been slow to adopt
18 (j) In order to be effective, these technological solutions need to be
19 ubiquitous, as thieves cannot distinguish between those mobile devices
20 that have the solutions enabled and those that do not. As a result, the
21 technological solution should be able to withstand a hard reset or oper-
22 ating system downgrade, and be enabled by default, with consumers being
23 given the option to affirmatively elect to disable this protection.
24 (k) Manufacturers of mobile devices and commercial mobile radio
25 service providers should make efforts to protect their customers from
26 being targeted as a result of purchasing their products and services.
27 (l) It is the intent of the legislature to require all smartphones and
28 other mobile devices offered for sale in New York to come with a techno-
29 logical solution enabled in order to deter theft and protect consumers.
30 § 2. The general business law is amended by adding a new section 399-
31 zzzz to read as follows:
32 § 399-zzzz. Smart phone device "kill switch". 1. Definitions. For
33 purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following
35 (a) "Account holder" with respect to a mobile device or devices, means
36 the person who holds the account through which commercial mobile data
37 service is provided on the device or devices and includes anyone else
38 authorized by such person to take actions with respect to such device or
40 (b) "Commercial mobile data service" has the same meaning as found in
41 section 6001 of 47 U.S.C. 1401, as amended from time to time.
42 (c) "Commercial mobile service" has the same meaning as given in
43 section 332 of 47 U.S.C. 301 et seq., as amended from time to time.
44 (d) "Mobile device" means a personal electronic device on which
45 commercial mobile service or commercial mobile data service is provided.
46 2. Any provider of commercial mobile data service or commercial mobile
47 service shall, by itself or in conjunction with the manufacturer of a
48 mobile device, ensure that any mobile device utilizing its service is
49 equipped with technology designed to:
50 (a) remotely delete the account holder's data that is on the mobile
51 device in the event the mobile device is lost or stolen;
52 (b) render the mobile device inoperable to an unauthorized, non-ac-
53 count holder by means of locking the mobile device such that it cannot
54 be used without a password or personal identification number, except in
55 accordance with any applicable Federal Communications Commission rules
A. 8984--A 3
1 for 911 emergency communications and, if available, emergency numbers
2 programmed by the authorized user;
3 (c) prevent reactivation without the account holder's permission,
4 including unauthorized factory reset attempts, to the extent technolog-
5 ically feasible; and
6 (d) reverse the inoperability if the mobile device is recovered by the
7 account holder and restore user data on the mobile device to the extent
9 3. The technology required under subdivision two of this section shall
10 be offered in mobile devices sold in New York state beginning July
11 first, two thousand fifteen, and shall be made available on mobile
12 devices at no cost to consumers, provided, however, that mobile devices
13 may be made available without such technology if such devices are
14 authorized pursuant to federal law or regulation.
15 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.