January 25, 2005

Misunderstanding mobile phone cameras

Simon Castle’s rant against mobile phone cameras in today’s Sydney Morning Herald completely misunderstands new technologies and confirms his Luddite status he so quickly denies. The privacy issues he raises may be real, but they have nothing to do with mobile phones.

There are plenty of higher resolution digital cameras smaller than phones and posting photos on the Internet has been easy for years. The idea that manufacturer’s be forced to make the camera flash is absurd, how difficult is it for someone to put a piece of tape over the flash?

Blogs and moblogs represent a new wave of personal media creation, but they’re no more invasive than the press pack getting stuck into a media victim. Does giving a photographer press credentials allow them the right to invade someone’s privacy?

Like it or not, our technological world is becoming more playful. Humans like to play (witness the iPod) even if we’ve been brainwashed into believing adult life should be serious. Those “toys” Castle dismisses are the future of a connected culture, like it or not. Trying to legislate against their use is more likely to curb human rights than save them. The next thing we’ll hear is that mobiles should be banned because protesters use them.