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FTC SETTLES WITH SELLERS OF "BOGUS CELL PHONE RADIATION PROTECTION PATCHES"
FTC has reached a settlement with Comstar Communications, Inc. and its president, Randall A. Carasco. They marketed and sold "WaveShield," "WaveShield 1000," and "WaveShield 2000" cell phone radiation protection patches using TV, radio and Internet advertising. The defendants allegedly claimed that their products could block up to 99% of radiation and other electromagnetic energy emitted by cellular telephones, thereby reducing consumers' exposure to this radiation. In February 2002, FTC issued a complaint against the defendants alleging that these claims were false and unsubstantiated.
The stipulated order has been approved by the court. It bars
defendants from the future marketing or selling of any product that
purports to reduce consumers' exposure to radiation and
electromagnetic energy, unless the claims are true and can be
substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence.
The order also bars defendants from making unsubstantiated
representations about the benefits, performance, or efficacy of any
product or service. The settlement requires defendants to clearly
disclose that most electromagnetic energy emitted by cell phones
comes from parts of the phone other than the earpiece, where the
WaveShield is placed, and that the WaveShield has no significant
effect on this other radiation.
Also, the settlement bars defendants from misrepresenting the results
of any test, study or research.
FTC's vote to approve the filing of the stipulated final order for
permanent injunction was 5-0. The order was entered in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of California, in Sacramento,
on April 28, 2003.
(Comstar Communications, Inc., et al., FTC Matter No. X020039, Civil
Action No. CIV.S-020348 MCE JFM, May 7, 2003.)
FTC GIVES FINAL OK TO CONSENT ORDER IN STUDENT SURVEY CASE
FTC has OK'd a final consent order in a case involving student surveys.
According to FTC's complaint, student survey companies had collected
detailed personal information from students as young as 10 years old
by deceptively claiming that they would use the data only for
educational purposes. These companies agreed to settle FTC charges
that their practices violated federal law.
FTC alleged that the companies sold personally identifiable
information about millions of students to target marketers. The
now-final consent agreement requires that the companies destroy any
information they have collected from children under 13 years old.
Also, the consent order bars--
* respondents from using previously collected student information for
non-educational-related marketing purposes;
* respondents from using data collected in the future for
non-educational-related marketing purposes unless they disclose how
the data actually will be used; and
* further deceptive statements.
NOTE: A consent agreement is for settlement purposes only and does
not constitute an admission of a law violation. When the Commission
issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law
with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may
result in a civil penalty of $11,000.
(Educational Research Center of America, Inc., et al., File No. 022
3249, FTC Dkt. No. C-4079, May 9, 2003.)
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