The issue of privacy with regards to used cell phones such as the Apple iPhone and some Google phones has hit the headlines recently thanks to the revelation that smartphones are not only capable of tracking their users’ location but actually stores that information – in an unencrypted form – for up to a year afterwards.
In 1973, Martin Cooper made the first cellular phone call, standing in front of a hotel on a busy New York street. Today, Mr. Cooper, a CEO for ArrayComm wireless software company, says he buys a new cell phone every two months. Why so often? He says that is what it takes to keep up with the technology.
The United Nations scheme to keep a track of old cell phones and other discarded electronic items that often end up being shipped overseas for recycling by disreputable companies has received a boost thanks to a grant given by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Is Africa the dumping ground for old cell phones and other electronic items from the United States and the rest of the world? The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) believes that may well actually be the case. With more than 15 million tons of new e-waste being generated every year all over the world, the fear is that Africa is the target dumping ground for a large portion of it.
Recharging an old cell phone can be a major pain for many people, but a technological breakthrough might just make it possible for people to recharge their cell phones – simply by talking to it. The astonishing new technology, being developed by researchers in South Korea, could see just the sound of a person’s voice being enough to power up a depleted cell phone.
According to ReCellular, one of the many cell phone recyclers whose prices we compare and present, the refurbished cell phone market is growing; possibly accounting for as much of one fifth of US cell phone sales.
The San Francisco bill to force cell phone companies to put radiation disclosure levels on new cell phones – given that it’s a little late to put them on old cell phones – has been put on indefinite hold, with a “watered down” version now more likely to end up being passed.
The need for the responsible recycling of old cell phones and other forms of electrical goods has never been more pressing. The rate of technological innovation seems to be increasing by the day and the impact on the environment of discarded old cell phones and other electronic items can be very damaging, with these items containing carcinogenic heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and mercury, which can also be extremely dangerous to human health.
Apple’s iPhone is a major threat to the privacy of all the people in the United States who have one, according to a professor at Michigan State University.
The third annual International Electronics Recycling Conference & Expo will be held over a period of three days from the 25th to the 27th of May at Las Vegas’ JW Marriott building.