Camera Phone Law Moving Forward In Chicago

from the going-a-bit-too-far. dept

Alan Reiter points us to the fact that Chicago politicians are pushing forward with laws against camera phones. The main part of the law isn’t horrible, in that it actually is forbidding the action, not the technology. It would fine people $500 for transmitting a picture taken in a place where people should expect privacy (such as a locker room). Odd, though, that the law seems specific to just transmitting a picture, and not the actual taking of the picture. In other words, this law, apparently, would not prevent someone from using a regular digital camera, taking a picture, uploading it to a computer and sending it. As long as it doesn’t use a camera phone, it’s fine. At the same time, the law still does include a ban on having a camera phone in these locations unless the camera part is “non operational” – though, they don’t explain what they mean by that. Does it mean the phone needs to be off? Or that the camera itself must be disabled? If the crime is in taking (or transmitting) the picture, then why does it matter if the camera works or not if the person isn’t taking a picture? Also, it appears that one politician has been suckered into believing the unproven story that identity thieves are snapping camera phone photos of credit cards while standing in line at the checkout counter. This politician wants to add into the law a piece that would make it illegal to use a camera phone in such a situation. Don’t we already have laws against the violation of privacy and identity theft? Don’t they cover these actions? Why do we need specific laws aimed at this tool, which really isn’t particularly different than plenty of other tools out there?

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Comments on “Camera Phone Law Moving Forward In Chicago”

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dorpus says:

Anti-Indecency Weapon

I had a little incident today when I was having dinner at a Mexican fast food place, and a deaf gay couple were sitting next to me, using sign language. They kept giving me sideways glances and laughing to each other, so they were obviously talking smack about me. I got revenge of sorts when I got out my cell phone, called up my girlfriend, and explained the situation aloud — they can’t hear me anyway, so what difference does it make?

If I had a cell phone camera, it would have been funny to capture the expressions on their faces.

Rob Henderson says:

WalMart took the bait

I have a friend who works at WalMart. They are now training their store employees to watch for snapshot-of-credit-card events. The employees are told this a valid fear, that it has happened, and that credit card numbers have been stolen this way.
I wonder if the urban-legend trackers have considered this corporate training method as a spread-and-perpetuate vector. One corporate memo from WalMart headquarters is suddenly treated as gospel by tens of thousands of people nationwide.

AMetamorphosis says:

Re: WalMart took the bait

I just don’t understand all this fear against camera phones.
People seem to have no problem with all the ” security ” cameras watching us 24/7 but the thought of an individual actually having the technology @ their disposal seems to worry everyone.

No one ever mentions that camera phones ALSO have the added feature of allowing the user to be able to capture crimes in progress, license plates of law breakers, etc …

Ryan King (user link) says:

Re: WalMart took the bait

It’s the issue that it’s basically impossible to resolve the numbers on a credit card at more then about 12″ with a camera phone?
I’m pretty sure I glance over a shoulder and just write down the digits in my PDA (or day planner) without anyone thinking twice.
At least temporarily memorizing five groups of four digits isn’t that hard.
Finally, a credit card number is fairly useless for identity theft. You need a social to apply for new cards, that’s the key.

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