Camera phones remind us that there is no substitute for mutual trust and respect.
As information technology comes in even smaller packages, the world seems to grow smaller along with it. The mobile phone has shrunk, from being uncomfortable bludge that never quiet fitted the pockets into which it was thrust, to becoming a slimline object that is not as thick as the average wallet. Now it comes with a camera and internet access, too, and is causing concentration everywhere from courtrooms to the change rooms of public swimming pools.
The device that surpasses the capacities of even Dick Tracey's wristwatch had been taken up enthusiastically, especially among the generation of adults who are too young to have grownup reading that particular comic strip. And they are, indeed doing things that the fictional detective could never have imagined. Not only can they see the person who has called-if they have the latest and most sophisticated type of phone-but they also use their phones to take digital photographs and then upload them to the net.
It is great fun. It also poses a new and potentially grave threat to individual privacy.
In Victoria, alarm about misuse of camera phones because public last month, when the YMCA (young Men's Christian Association) banned their use at one hundred and ten swimming pools and sports centres. The association administers, after complainants that swimmers had been photographed in the change rooms. The YMCA's concerns have since been echoed by the supreme and county courts and by the law institute, of all which are worried that witnesses in courts by possibly subject to intimidation. The problem confronting the courts, the YMCA and other institutions and organizations that need to be able to guarantee privacy and confidentiality is that, although the phones can be...