Thursday, August 11, 2005

Cellphone Camera Use Policies

I often see articles about purient uses of cell phone cameras, which I seldom link to because they're as mundane as university security incidents. Rob Hyndman (Celphone Camera Use Policies) is linking to a post at IP Counsel Blog about camera phones and IP protection (IP Counsel Blog: Camera Phones And Corporate Espionage). It's a good post and any company with sensitive IP should carefully consider the issue.

In my practice, I'm seeing policies that try to address this technology from the perspective of protecting the privacy of employees and customers. For example, daycares should at least turn their minds to developing rules about who can photograph kids and should the organization get consent in advance from the parents to allow photography on the site? Gyms should (and many do) think about policies for allowing the devices in locker rooms and in exercise areas. Hospitals also need to think about whether visitors should be able to take pictures that may include unrelated patients in the background. Some people are very sensitive and would get upset if a photo from the Christmas party shows up on the staff bulletin board.

Phones with cameras installed are ubiquitous. The more prevalent they are, the harder they are to regulate. Also, as they become commonplace, it is easy to lose sight of the risks that they may pose and its harder to get people to give them up at the door.

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