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Monday, July 26, 2010

Mobile phone trade organisation takes legal action against San Francisco

CTIA The Wireless Association – one of the wireless communication industry's international trade bodies – has filed a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco. It's unhappy with the new so-called "Cell Phone Right-to-Know" ruling, which insists that retailers publish Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) figures for the mobile phones they sell.

John Walls, Vice President of Public Affairs at CTIA-The Wireless Association, said "CTIA has filed this lawsuit to prevent consumer confusion. The problem with the San Francisco ordinance is not the disclosure of wireless phone SAR values – that information is already publicly available. Consumers can learn a device’s SAR value from a number of public sources, and the value is often included in user manuals and listed on the websites of manufacturers and the FCC. CTIA’s objection to the ordinance is that displaying a phone’s SAR value at the point-of-sale suggests to the consumer that there is a meaningful safety distinction between FCC-compliant devices with different SAR levels."

"The wireless industry is committed to consumer choice. That means providing consumers with the best information to assist them in making the right choice for them when purchasing a device and services.  The San Francisco ordinance, by conveying a misleading impression about the relative safety of wireless phones, will hinder – rather than assist – consumers in making their choices."

[PDF of complaint]

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