Tag Archives: George Gascon

S.F., L.A. Sue Uber ‘To Protect Consumers’; Lyft Settles Charges

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

uber lyft sidecar vehicle

Privately held Uber last week raised $1.2 billion in funding, giving it a valuation of $40 billion — more than CBS, American Airlines or Kraft Foods. But the San Francisco company continues to anger regulators. In the past week, Uber was banned in India, Spain and Thailand and threatened with a ban in Portland, Ore. … Gascón laid out several allegations against Uber. Uber falsely claims that its driver background checks are superior to those for taxi driversUber charges passengers a $1 “safe rides fee” … and falsely claims that money goes toward “industry-leading” background checks.
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SB 962: Governor Signs Smartphone Kill Switch Legislation

Thief Stealing Teenage Girl's Mobile Phone

An Assembly floor vote is expected Aug. 7. “The companies that make 97 percent of smartphones sold in the U.S. have removed their opposition to the bill, yet [CTIA-The Wireless Association] remains opposed,” Max Szabo of the District Attorney’s Office told The San Francisco Examiner. “It raises the question of whether these insurance giants are hiding behind this lobbying group in an attempt to protect the profits they’re reaping at the expense of public safety.” Read More ›

Survey: Most smartphone owners support kill switch; industry lobbyists remain opposed

by Jonah Owen Lamb, The San Francisco Examiner

Thief Stealing Teenage Girl's Mobile Phone

With Senate Bill 962 (Leno) set to go to the Assembly floor Aug. 7, a majority of the public – 99 percent – backs laws requiring shut-off technology in smartphones to combat thefts. “The companies that make 97 percent of smartphones sold in the U.S. have removed their opposition to the bill, yet [CTIA-The Wireless Association] remains opposed,” Max Szabo of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office said. “It raises the question of whether these insurance giants are hiding behind this lobbying group in an attempt to protect the profits they’re reaping at the expense of public safety.” Read More ›

You’ve been jacked!: On why Sacramento smartphone thefts are big money for thieves and telecoms

by Raheem F. Hosseini, Sacramento News & Review

Thief Stealing Teenage Girl's Mobile Phone

Stealing a mobile device is the “easiest, quickest way to get your hands on several hundred bucks,” said Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation of California. Legislative fixes are meeting resistance from a powerful telecommunications industry that rakes in more than $38 billion selling smartphone-theft insurance and replacement mobile devices. Companies like AT&T and Sprint rake in “several billion dollars a year in phone-theft insurance,” said Holober. “This is an industry that pretty much owns the Legislature.” Read More ›

Smartphone “kill switch” bill facing unusual opposition

by Eric Rasmussen, KTVU

locked cell phone

KTVU obtained a “floor alert” regarding Senate Bill 962 sent to members of the Senate by CTIA, a group representing the wireless phone industry. The memo includes an argument that requiring kill switches on phones could place victims of domestic violence in more danger if their abusers are able to remotely activate the technology. Some supporters of the proposed law aren’t buying the argument. Read More ›

Lawmakers reject bill requiring cell phone kill-switch

by Melody Gutierrez, San Francisco Chronicle

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California state Sen. Mark Leno said a powerful and deep-pocked wireless communications industry killed his bill requiring antitheft technology on smartphones. With support from law enforcement, the bill requiring “kill switches” on mobile devices fell two short after nearly all Republicans and several Democrats voted against it, including senators Jim Beall, Ricardo Lara, and Norma Torres. Read More ›

Smartphone ‘kill switches’ on the way

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

Smartphone thefts have grown increasingly violent as the devices have risen in value, commanding several hundred dollars each on the black market. The Federal Communications Commission said mobile-device theft is the No. 1 property crime in America. The industry has struggled with a response. Just this month, industry representatives testified they couldn’t offer the type of solution that they now are proposing. Read More ›

Consumers Save $2.5 Billion A Year If A ‘Kill Switch’ Stops Phone Thefts, Study Finds

by Gerry Smith, Huffington Post

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If phone thefts were no longer a concern, more than half of smartphone owners say they would buy less expensive phone insurance coverage from third parties like Apple or SquareTrade that doesn’t cover theft or loss, according to a small survey of 1,200 smartphone owners Duckworth conducted along with his analysis. Read More ›

New bill demands that smartphones have “kill switch” in case of theft

by Joe Mullin, Ars Technica

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California state legislator Mark Leno has introduced SB 962, a bill that would require smartphones sold in the state to include a “kill switch” that would “render inoperable” the phone if it’s not in the possession of the rightful owner. Read More ›