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Nonprofit Organizations Filed an “Amicus Brief” Petition at a Supreme Court Against Apple

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On Wednesday, a group of nonprofit organizations and grassroots community filed an “amicus brief”, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide if the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) cellphone radiation guidelines preempt state safety and health laws. The coalition of these groups includes Children’s Health Defense (CHD), a nonprofit organization that looks after the welfare of children and holds corporations and other entities accountable by initating legal appeals. 

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Amicus briefs, on the other hand, is a petition to the court for “permission to submit a brief in the action intending to influence the court’s decision”.

The plaintiffs alleged that Apple violated state health and safety law by failing to provide essential information to their customers related to the risks and hazards of the radiation being emitted by cellphones. As presented by the plaintiffs, the radiofrequency (RF) radiation from cellphones has been proven by various studies to cause serious health problems yet big companies like Apple continue to roam around free from liabilities and responsibilities in terms of social well-being and safety. As a result, it’s always the consumers and the innocent citizens who are left to pay the cost of these technological magic. 

Apple’s trouble started in October 2020 when the plaintiffs filed a case that claim that “Apple’s iPhone emitted RF radiation that regularly exceeded the federal exposure limit”. They alleged that the company did not warn the consumers about the risks of having cellphones close to the body or skin. Unfortunately, on Aug. 26, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the plaintiffs’ claims were invalid because the FCC’s federal guidance “impliedly preempted” state health and safety law. The plaintiffs then filed a petition for a “writ of certiorari” or “cert” request asking the Supreme Court to hear the case.

Prior to that, in April of 2022, research surfaced the public presenting similar accusations. The researchers claim that “Apple engages in invasive data practices similar to those it forbids among third-parties, in violation of consumer expectation and marketing slogans”. The petitioners also alleged that Apple “makes misleading promises in its marketing and published policies”. This includes lying about the real quality of their product. Free from potential liability, Apple is one of the notorious wireless companies that deliberately ignore public’s health and safety. Immunity will allow corporate exploitation therefore, big companies, like Apple, must always be held accountable.  

Meanwhile, earlier this year, Apple has again been sued for a privacy-related issue. The claim is that Apple “captures iPhone customer data despite device settings declaring a preference that information should not be shared”. Filed in Northern California District Court, it cites research published last November claiming that “Apple collects analytics data even when iPhone users have set a preference disallowing data collection”. Up to now, Apple still hasn’t said anything about the issue in public while also ignoring many interviews.

References:

https://www.theregister.com/2023/01/28/apple_sued_privacy/

https://childrenshealthdefense.org/wp-content/uploads/22-698-Amicus-Brief.pdf

https://childrenshealthdefense.org/wp-content/uploads/Cohen-v-Apple-10-29-20.pdf

Featured image: https://www.cedrsolutions.com/apple-class-action-wage-lawsuit/