Minn. lawmaker wants stolen smart phone cutoffs

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota legislator says he’ll push a bill next year for mandatory cellphone technology allowing people to remotely disable lost or stolen smart phones.

The legislation requiring cellphone cutoff technology is a response to a burst in phone thefts, including some taken in violent attacks in Minnesota. State Rep. Joe Atkins, the chairman of the House Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee, said Thursday he’ll introduce the bill in time for the legislative session.

The policy debate isn’t unique to Minnesota. Similar efforts in other states haven’t yielded new laws. Given the reach of the smart phone industry, any one state could find it tough to mandate technology meant to make stolen phones useless.

The cellphone industry has argued instead for a national database to track device thefts.

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