In an effort to lower the number of smartphone thefts, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill Monday that will require phones sold in the state to have "kill switches" that can remotely make the device inoperable.
It is the first law of its kind in the country, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Starting in January 2015, all smartphones must have the feature enabled under their default settings, and consumers will have to go in and turn it off if they so desire.
"California has just put smartphone thieves on notice," State Sen. Mark Leno (D) of San Francisco told the Chronicle. "Our efforts will effectively wipe out the incentive to steal smartphones and curb this crime of convenience, which is fueling street crime and violence within our communities."
A Consumer Reports survey found that in 2013, more than 3.1 million Americans had their smartphones stolen, up from 1.6 million in 2012.