The California Senate on Thursday voted down a state measure that would require smarter anti-theft security on smartphones. The bill, introduced by State Senator Mark Leno and sponsored by George Gascon, San Francisco's district attorney, would have required a so-called kill switch which would render a smartphone useless after it was stolen on all smartphones sold in California. The proposal needed 21 votes to pass in the 40-member chamber. After debate on Thursday morning at the Capitol, in Sacramento, it fell two votes short of passing, with a final count of 19 to 17 in favor.
IMEI's can be changed in software (for rooted phones).
That's what worries me about these proposed laws. Wouldn't they require users to be locked out from full control over their phones?
Even if theoretically the answer were no, I fear in practice that's what would happen. Manufacturers already have mixed feelings towards making phones rootable. With a law like this, the easiest thing to do is surely remove as much control over the phone as possible (except the officially supported features).