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Cell Phones, Pictures and Privacy

Techstination feature for Monday, April 26, 2004

Cell phones, pictures and privacy. Bloomberg Boot camp, a report on today's technology. Mobile phones that can take still pictures are being snapped up left and right. Now come new models…that can shoot and send video clips as well. And that is prompting some renewed concerns about privacy. At Sprint, which is introducing a third video phone into its line-up, Kathleen Dunleavy says….

"Sprint is very concerned about the privacy issue and the fear that we see that some people have about these phones being used to take illicit photos or to take pictures of proprietary information. And there have already been some bans that have been enacted in Westchester County, also in Australia and Japan. And Sprint really encourages people that have camera phones or video phones, to exercise proper etiquette."

Dunleavy says Sprint is insisting manufactures use a light to warn people when they are being recorded on video by a phone. The phones make sounds by default when still pictures are being taken….but those sounds can often be turned off. Dunleavy says the controversy has not hurt the popularity of camera phones…

"No, the controversy has not hurt the popularity, maybe it's even increased the popularity a little bit. But camera phones are incredibly popular. And this is a phenomenon we've seen in Japan for years."

Where just about every cell phone sold…includes a camera. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.