Video Phones

I can take video from my Nokia 7650 now. I got a copy of that T-Mobile video app (Thanks Matt!) and it's really neat. However, this post over at SmartMobs really struck home just now:

Citizens as well as states have enhanced surveillance powers

It isn't just Big Brother looking at us, but now, with camera-equipped telephones, capable of posting images to the Internet, our fellow citizens can snoop in ways never before possible. Some places like gyms are beginning to ban these devices from the premises.

(Thanks, James!)

Warning: Use of camera-equipped mobile phones could be hazardous to your health.

That's the message going out from at least one chain of health clubs in Hong Kong, where a new generation of cell phones that can take and transmit video and still photos is raising concerns over a new crop of privacy-related issues.

Physical, which operates nine gyms in the former British colony, recently posted signs in its Hong Kong facilities forbidding the use of mobile phones in locker rooms.

"It's just some areas that are restricted for mobile phones,'' Physical spokeswoman Miran Chan said. "Some of these phones can be used as cameras. If someone uses a phone this way and takes a photo and puts it on the Internet, it's not very good for our members and their privacy.''

The reason that this was so close to home is not because I was playing with the camera somewhere I shouldn't have been, but that I was playing with it at all. I was at lunch with some of my coworkers the other day and I was setting up some of their new mobile phones they just bought so all of our phones were out and of course I was showing off how cool mine is. I took a snapshot and showed everyone. And then I took a short video, but by that time the conversation had turned, so I just emailed it back to the office and didn't think about it.

When we got back, I said, "Hey, take a look at this" and proudly showed the stamp-sized 8 second video I had taken. Their faces were complete shock. "You were VIDEOING US?" Oh. They weren't mad, just really, really surprised. They had no idea. And the fact is, that if I'm using my phone it's hard to tell if I'm pointing shooting or just reading. And video adds a whole other dimension to it.

A warning to the wise. Be sure everyone knows you're snapping that shot. ;-)


P.S. You can see that my son really likes the Nokia as well. ;-)

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