FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, November 22, 2004

Global Camera Phone Backlash

Privacy advocates around the world are urging makers of camera phones to act responsibly when marketing their products. They cite numerous privacy complaints about camera phones, as well as their ability to compromise security in government or private business environments.

Camera phones have already been banned outright in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and South Korea and the United States are working to formuate acceptable-use standards for camera phones in their countries. One requirement South Korea is considering is that camera phones make a sound of at least 65dB when snapping a picture. At the very least, this would alert others in a public space that a camera phone is in use.

The camera phone dilemma is clearly a case where technology has outpaced safety and security procedures, as well as the rules of etiquette. Says Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association, "We hope that consumers will keep in mind the public responsibility that comes with owning this type of product, and [we] encourage retailers to actively educate their customers about appropriate use of these devices." However, solutions that balance privacy and security with consumers' right to own camera phones may take time to develop.

Source: Silicon.com