Let's suppose I'm a somewhat-educated computer-science-wise citizen who is very dissatisfied with inconsistent digital storage drive capacity labeling, where manufacturers use GB (base-10 SI metric decimal giga unit prefix equals to 1000 in power of 3) instead of base-2 binary scale units (e.g. GiB with prefix gibi equals to 1024 in power of 3).

The motivation for this complaint could be that the binary notation is more native for computing devices like CPUs. It is also a bit inconsistent to use binary notation for bits in bytes (1 byte = 8 bit), but change it to decimal midways. Something doesn't feel right in this situation.

Aforementioned means that instead of expected 64 binary GB I could get 64 decimal GB which is around 59 binary GB.

Hence the questions:

  • Who decides how those products could be labeled?
  • If I would like to make the standards more consistent, who should I ask for help?
  • To whom should a possible petition for more correct labeling be addressed to?

The context is US.

  • 3
    The relevant law is not international but national (or EU wide for EU citizens). Food labeling is heavily regulated in a lot of countries. It seems though that very little regulation exists for consumer electronics so the companies can write more or less whatever they want.
    – quarague
    Feb 26 '20 at 10:47
  • 1
    You should write to whoever makes laws in your country. That is vague, yes.
    – user253751
    Feb 26 '20 at 11:31
  • 1
    Generally, everything which is not illegal is legal. So if there's no law against it then the manufacturer can do what they like. There should be a law about misleading advertising, but innocent until proven guilty, and the manufacturer has a plausible excuse for why it is not misleading.
    – user253751
    Feb 26 '20 at 12:28
  • 2
    This would be an ok question if you narrowed down the scope to some country or countries. E.g. in the US the FCC would have such power. There are basically no international agreements (=international law) on labelling electronics. The US has its on regulations, the EU's likewise etc. This is a reason why getting [the same] electronics products marketed in different areas is not straightforward.
    – Fizz
    Feb 26 '20 at 15:24
  • 3
    Relevant article: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_prefix#Legal_disputes Feb 27 '20 at 1:42