If you live in Minnesota, your next smartphone or tablet could have pre-installed software that will allow you to disable the device remotely. That's due to Wednesday's decision by the state government to pass a bill into law requiring such "kill switches" on mobile devices.
CNET reports that the governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, signed the bill into law on Wednesday. It will require that all mobile connected devices have anti-theft software installed by July 1st, 2015. It's the first state in the U.S. to pass such a requirement.
The California state senate tried and failed to approve a similar bill in that state in April, but a second voting attempt by that group last week was successful. However, the bill is still in committee and has yet to go to the governor for his approval.
In April, a number of smartphone companies, including Apple, Google and Microsoft, along with the major wireless carriers in the U.S, pledged to voluntary install remote free remote wiping software on all of their devices starting with new units sold after July 2015. Previously, some parts of the smartphone industry have resisted adding in such software, claiming that it could lead to making devices more open to hackers.