Feb 22

Cell Phones, Tablets and Thieves: Does Missouri Need New Laws To Keep Up?

by Mike Ferguson

(St. Charles, MO) – It can happen to you. In fact, in 2013, it happened about 3.2 million times in the United States. The target of the crime is likely in your hand right now or is within a few feet of you.

Theft of mobile devices including cell phones and tablets is on the rise. According to one state lawmaker, that means Missouri needs to change at least one law regarding wireless products.MWSnap057

Rep. Mary Nichols (D) is working to require a so-called “kill switch” on all mobile devices sold in the state. That would allow you and your wireless provider to shut down the device and wipe it clean, erasing any personal information stored within it. Increasingly, financial information is stored on phones or on Cloud accounts linked to them.

For many products and services, kill switch applications or programs similar to them are available through your app store.

AT&T Missouri* President John Sondag is not on board with the proposal and believes the other technology companies working in the state also oppose it even though they all share the overall goal.MWSnap058

Sondag says there is already a program being developed and will be launched this year that is similar to a “kill switch” approach but gives consumers more freedom to use it how they see fit. The program, he says, will be offered by most major wireless providers.

He also expressed concern about adding a law because of how fast technology products – and tech savvy criminals – change and adapt. A new mandate, he fears, could slow down implementation of future upgrades to apps and other programs designed to protect consumers.

* AT&T Missouri is a sponsor of “Missouri Viewpoints”

On the web:

House Bill 144


Permanent link to this article: http://missouriviewpoints.com/cell-phones-tablets-and-thieves-does-missouri-need-new-laws-to-keep-up/