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Could mobile phone apps be the future of ethical choices?
(10/02/2011 11:27:47)

Ethical applications available on smartphones may prompt people to recycle mobile phones so they can make educated choices on which companies they give their money to.

Dan Welch, co-editor of Ethical Consumer Magazine, cited research by Which? indicating people feel "conned" if they become aware that a multinational corporation is behind a charitable or otherwise principled organisation.

They may have been using that enterprise's services in part because of their moral image.

In his opinion, mobile phones may play a major role in how people check up on firms in the future, with apps being a possible route for such investigations.

Mr Welch explained that three-quarters of consumers in the UK are predicted to own a smartphone in 18 months, which means they would have access to such online applications on their handsets.

His comments suggest there will be plenty of people choosing to sell mobile phones to upgrade to a newer model in the coming year and a half.

While the Ethical Consumer Magazine representative lauded the possibilities of using apps for research into the background of businesses, he urged individuals to question the information they are given.

"A word of caution - before you buy, how do you know the information the app provides is reliable? Check you can see the stories and sources behind the ratings," said Mr Welch.

He highlighted how the Ethical Consumer Magazine is poised to release an application and praised the one unveiled by US Good Guide.

A new app launched at the beginning of this month comes from the Ethical Company Organisation.

It offers a rating for more than 700 major brands and 72 product-specific tables to help people make an effective choice on which firms they deal with.

After the launch, the organisation's director William Sankey remarked: "Companies' ethical records have never been so easy to access for millions of concerned consumers."

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