Feeds

CTIA wins battle over cancer labelling on phones

San Francisco down, but not out

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A California court has ruled that forcing phone retailers to display cancer warnings infringes their first amendment rights, unless said warnings also point out the FCC's scepticism over the threat.

The Northern District Court agreed that there was no evidence that mobiles cause cancer, and that the flyer and poster the city intended to mandate would oblige shopkeepers to express an opinion with which they disagreed. However, the court also suggested that a better-worded warning might be acceptable, as long as it was clear that the opinions presented were not those of the shopkeeper, the FCC or the vast majority of reputable scientists.

California likes putting warnings onto things, so much so that locals are often blinded to them anyway, but San Francisco's determination to label mobile phones as carcinogenic has brought it into conflict with one of the more powerful lobby groups in America, and already cost the city millions in lost business.

The original ordinance, passed back in June 2010, called for labels on every phone showing the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). That information is already on the FCC's site, and subject to pretty-conservative maximums, and the industry argued that giving undue prominence to irrelevant information would just confuse people.

The CTIA got so upset that it pulled its annual trade show from San Francisco in protest. The show had delivered over $80m to the city over the preceding years (though, to be fair, that's the CTIA's estimate).

The city backed down on product labelling, and instead started pushing out the flyer-and-poster plan which has now been knocked back. San Francisco now has until the end of the month to come back with a revised flyer making it clear that it represents the tin-foil-hat brigade rather than the commonly-accepted (and scientifically justified) view that mobile telephony is harmless unless you throw it really hard, though the CTIA is clear that it will fight on until California shopkeepers have the right to say absolutely nothing on the subject. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
PwC says US biz lagging in Internet of Things
Grass is greener in Asia, say the sensors
Ofcom sees RISE OF THE MACHINE-to-machine cell comms
Study spots 9% growth in IoT m2m mobile data connections
O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge
No, the spooks love US best, say rival firms
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.