now reviewing cell phones reviews products (started with foods) for their health, environmental, and societal impacts so you as a consumer can make better decisions.  They have recently expanded to cover cell phones.   This gave me an idea.

Basically my idea is, add to the consideration the level of user’s software freedom in the phone itself as well as rate the company on how it is contributing to open source upstreams, etc.  Let’s take the Palm Pixi Smartphone as an example,

You can break down how they do the review, by expanding Society.  I would propose adding two sections:

  • Free and Open Source Upstream Engagement Under Standard Company Social Performance -> Society -> Community Engagement
  • User’s Software Freedom Possibly Under Standard Company Social Performance -> Consumers

Sounds good?

It is, except they need to ‘identify a relatively authoritative source working in a domain that has done detailed evaluations that we can then incorporate into our ratings’ [1].   So my question for the planet and readers is, who could provide this information?

I’ve been thinking about the Electronic Frontier Foundation or Free Software Foundation for User’s Software Freedom.

And the Linux Foundation (and likely the above as well) for Free and Open Source Upstream Engagement.

None of them seem to already have a rating system that would be useful in this way.   I will be sending all of these organizations an email soon, asking them if they would want to take this task on.  But I wanted to get more opinions on this idea and other organizations that I should contact.

5 thoughts on “ now reviewing cell phones”

  1. The problem with this idea is that while healt, societal and environmental issues are something the “average Joe” can understand and identify with, software freedom (the libre kind) interests only a handful of geeks. And that’s OK, for while I endorse and use free software myself, I do recognize that there are far bigger and far more important issues about products.

  2. Nice idea, freedom in cell phones is so important as it is in computers, in fact, cellphones are tiny computers as we know.

  3. I can’t think of anything that could help, but this sounds like a great idea and I’d love to see if they factor that in!

  4. @JensM – That’s actually sortof the idea. I’m not an export on Palm’s rating on Human rights. But the GoodGuide rating takes that and all of the other ratings into account for it’s number.

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