Cities Get Into The Camera Phone Banning Business

Years from now, I think people will look back on the early days of camera phones and laugh at how badly some people over reacted. The NY Times is reporting that, not only our gyms and offices banning camera phones, but entire cities are getting into the act banning camera phones in public bathrooms and locker rooms. Again, this is going too far. They’re banning the tools that can be used to commit a crime – not the crime itself. As a lawyer says in the article: “They’ve threatened the rights of the majority of people to try to control the conduct of a few, and that’s just beyond the balance.” Chicago is the biggest city so far to set up such a ban, and when confronted about it, the response was that: “There is no reason to have a cellphone while you’re changing and showering.” That’s missing the point. First, how is it the city’s job to know when all of its citizens and visitors need a cell phone? What if it’s an emergency call? Furthermore, what if someone needs a cell phone immediately after being in the locker room – such as in the gym itself? One interesting thing in the article, which I had not heard elsewhere, is that they mention a town in Ohio, Seven Hills, gave up on the idea of banning camera phones after realizing that it would probably face a costly court challenge which they didn’t want to deal with.

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