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Fake SD cards on the rise: How to avoid counterfeit products

Posted: 19 Mar 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Toshiba? SD card? counterfeit? SD Association?

According to Crosby, it's understandable that vendors won't discuss the problem as it's hard to get their arms around, and that providing support to customers who buy fraudulent cards with their name on it would take up too many resources. Ultimately, there is little they can do, he said. Manufacturers are understandably guarded about the problem as it affects their brand, and if they post bulletins warning consumers about faulty cards, they are just doing quality assurance for the counterfeiters.

EE Times contacted the SD Association (SDA) about the issue of counterfeit SD cards. Its president, Brian Kumagai, said in an email that the responsibility of counterfeit cards falls to law enforcement. "The SDA creates SD standards and specifications and promotes their adoption, advancement and use," he said. "It does not monitor the trade of SD memory card products."

Kumagai said SD memory card product manufacturers may contract with separate SD standards-related organisations such as SD-3C and 4C Entity for different intellectual property related to SD standards. He added that access to the SD specifications is controlled, and that SDA member companies have access to compliance and testing tools to confirm that their products meet standards and specifications, including interoperability with other SD memory card products.

Kumagi's advice to consumers or bulk buyers (such as IT departments) was similar to that of Toshiba's: They should be careful to purchase from authorised sellers, distributors and resellers. "Your SD memory card product manufacturer is your best resource for any purchase questions."

There are third-party tools, he said, not related to the SDA, that screen SD memory cards for compliance to SD specifications. Buyers can also access the SD-3C website to view a list of companies that have a Card License Agreement that validates an authorised SD memory card.

Counterfeit SD cards are just part of a larger problem. The Counterfeit Report also keeps an eye out for other phony items such as airbags, smartphones, including the iPhone, as well as peripherals such as chargers, because consumers aren't aware many of these items are counterfeits, whereas high-end handbags and watches are known to have knockoffs.

- Gary Hilson
??EE Times

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