MyBroadband regularly reports on Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) complaints, which often contain valuable rulings that guide the way the tech industry promotes its products.
The latest complaint, however, which takes aim at Standard Bank’s “Kidz Banking” mobile app, is unlike anything we have seen before.
The Kidz Banking app is an educational app that teaches children how to save and manage their pocket money.
Standard Bank has promoted the Kidz Banking app on its website, on the KFM website, and through radio advertisements on KFM.
While most people would welcome the initiative by Standard Bank, one consumer saw it as encouraging children to be unnecessarily exposed to RF-EMF radiation.
Think of the children
The complainant said children under the age of 16 should not be targeted to use wireless devices, which emit RF-EMF radiation, for non-essential purposes.
He cited cited several studies, and said he was a postgraduate researcher who has received funding to study the effects EMF radiation on people.
He requested Standard Bank to remove all its Kidz Banking app promotions, and direct these funds “to further academic research and public awareness campaigns regarding the responsible use of EMF radiation”.
Standard Bank was perplexed by the complaint, and questioned the ASA for entertaining the meritless claim.
Standard Bank also dismissed the concerns raised by the complainant that the use of wireless devices is harmful.
The bank provided research done by the South African Electronic Communications Association, the World Health Organisation, and the United Kingdom Department of Health in support of its arguments.
The ASA said that any issue the complainant has regarding the safety of using wireless devices does not fall under its jurisdiction.
The complaint was dismissed.