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Camera Phones Challenge Security

David Utter
Expert Author
Published: 2005-05-31

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Laws have been passed, and internal corporate processes frequently ban them, but camera phones still grow in sales.

Sales of camera phones have not been deterred by the passage of federal laws and some state legislation banning their use in certain places. Making up over a third of all mobile phones sold in the US last year, analysts expect that number to grow.

But privacy concerns, both personal and professional, present a quandary to mobile phone users. Corporations have been routinely requiring participants at some events to hand their camera phones over to security. A San Francisco Chronicle article said Apple Computer was noted for doing so last month; has Steve Jobs suddenly become camera-shy?

Probably not. Corporations sometimes want to display products ahead of a market release, but only for a select audience like industry analysts.

Other places like schools and military installations have banned them as well. And trying to take them into concerts given by certain performers will incur the wrath of security. After all, how can Metallica possible sell more CDs if some fan snaps a photo of Lars grimacing in a musical fashion with a Razr phone?

On a serious note, many privacy concerns are legitimate and must be addressed. The spread of camera phones has forced all kinds of places to deal with them. And that certainly has not been pleasant at times.

Asking an executive of any level, or a parent with a babysitter at home with the kids, to give up their cellphone won't always provoke polite compliance. And for those people or anyone else who does not want to give up their phone, a backlash against camera phones may result.

That would be unfortunate, as camera phones have proven instrumental in helping with criminal cases where a witness snapped a critical picture. And a virus writer can wreak more havoc with a computer than a typical camera phone user could with a snapshot.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

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