[funsec] Magazine Will Begin Consulting With Experts

Alex Eckelberry AlexE at sunbelt-software.com
Wed Mar 21 10:16:24 CDT 2007

Wow.  Now maybe they'll start testing security software accurately.   

-----Original Message-----
From: funsec-bounces at linuxbox.org [mailto:funsec-bounces at linuxbox.org]
On Behalf Of Richard M. Smith
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2007 9:20 AM
To: 'FunSec LList'
Subject: [funsec] Magazine Will Begin Consulting With Experts 

March 21, 2007

Magazine Will Begin Consulting With Experts By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE
Consumer Reports, widely respected for its independent assessments of
consumer products, has long steered clear of consulting with industry
and manufacturers. As a further shield from being compromised, it
accepts no advertising.

But yesterday, the magazine said that its quest for independence had
kept it from reaching out to experts who might have helped it avoid one
of the biggest mistakes in its 71-year history.

In January, the magazine reported that 10 of 12 infant car seats it
tested had failed simulated crash tests - a report it retracted two
weeks later. 

A review of the incident by two outside specialists found that the
magazine's problem stemmed mainly from its decision to develop and run
its side-impact tests without extensive consultation with other experts.

The magazine said in a statement that it had not consulted outside
experts in part "because of the organization's longstanding policy of
limiting contact with government and industry to avoid compromising the
independence of its judgment."

That decision, the magazine said, "ultimately proved to be a mistake."

Consumer Reports had reported in January that side-impact tests showed
10 of
12 car seats performed poorly in tests conducted at 38 miles an hour.
But it later said the tests had actually been conducted at 70 miles an

The report infuriated the car seat manufacturers and left parents
confused about whether they should buy the seats, which can be
expensive. The magazine retracted the report two weeks later and sent
letters and e-mail messages to six million subscribers to apologize.


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