Feeds

CTIA wins battle over cancer labelling on phones

San Francisco down, but not out

The essential guide to IT transformation

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
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
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
Google's so smart it's discovered SHARKS HAVE TEETH
Congratulations, world media, for rediscovering submarine cable armour
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?