Amazon to bad cable slingers: USB-C yourself out

Retailer bans sales of dangerous connectors is now prohibiting sellers from offering the kind of USB-C cables that could fry your notebook.

The retailer has updated the terms of its prohibited electronics page to include USB-C cables that are not properly wired up. The page now tells electronics sellers they are forbidden from offering "any USB-C (or USB Type-C) cable or adapter product that is not compliant with standard specifications issued by USB Implementers Forum."

This should come as welcome news to users who were worried that the power transmission capabilities of USB-C could also allow for dodgy cables to damage devices when connected.

While USB-C cables are particularly attractive to mobile and notebook vendors who can use the smaller power-transmitting connections to cut down on the number and size of ports on a device, researchers have warned that when the chargers and cables are not properly configured they can pose a hazard.

By forcing retailers to sell only cables compliant with the USB Implementers Forum, Amazon will presumably be able to lower the risk of USB-C electrical damage and will be able to punish those who do traffic in dangerous cables.

Among those who hailed the move by Amazon was Google engineer Benson Leung, who has been waging a one-man crusade against dodgy USB-C cables on Amazon.

"It means that cable manufacturers who sell poorly made or intentionally deceptive USB Type C cables and adapters are banned from Amazon, officially," Leung wrote on Google+ post.

"Really great news, but we all have to continue to be vigilant and call out any bad products we find on Amazon and other stores (both online and brick and mortar) as we find them."

Other banned Amazon electronics include things such as mobile phone jammers, laser pens, and micro-SIM cards carved out of standard-sized SIM cards. ®

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