Minnesota has the nation's first law requiring smartphones and tablets sold in the state to have remote shut-off devices as a way to deter theft.
The "kill switch" bill was signed Wednesday by Gov. Mark Dayton after lawmakers passed it last week. The measure takes full effect in 2015, but advocates are hoping the wireless industry will make the technology updates sooner.
Democratic Rep. Joe Atkins describes the law as "a vaccine" for the epidemic of smartphone theft given increasingly violent robberies tied to mobile devices. People who report a kill switch-equipped phone lost or stolen can disable it and wipe the data slate clean by contacting their carrier.
The bill also bars retailers from paying cash for used devices and requires them to keep records on those transactions.
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