Cameras and invasion of privacy

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Group 3 TO2

Group Members- Richard Martin, Derek Thornton, Christopher Franssen, Dejan Boskovic, Gabrielle Lacasse

Camera Phone


Cell phones are a technology common to almost all areas of the world as well as the majority of industries in the world. The integration of a camera into a cell phone has been a break through in the technological advancement of the communications industry. it has allowed consumers to utilize their cell phones for more than just vocal communication. Aspects of the communication industry such as video conferencing and image transfering have been greatly assisted by the integration of a camera into the cellphone of the average consumer. The ease and luxury of having a camera at hand almost all the time has created a new problem, which is the invasion and publication of private scenerios and situations. over 95% of all cell phones produced in the world now have a integrated camera, which mean that almost 97% of the worlds population have easy access to photography and video functions.


The world is in constant search for new technologies and improvements are made everyday to new or current electronic devices. These changes bring about new technologies on the market and revolutionize the world of a certain device. Often, ideas are not created by on one single person but emerge throughout the years into people’s minds, until one day, an individual is able to create a thorough prototype of a particular device. This is the case for cell phones, since they made their appearance on the market, have always been prone to improvements and changes. One of the major ideas and changes added onto the cellphones was brought around the 1990’s. Inventors started imagining the addition of a camera onto cellphones. The idea of taking a picture with a phone was starting to be understood, but the connection of wireless Internet, unto a cell phone to send and receive pictures was easier said then done. May random prototypes were created by certain individuals across the Globe, each trying to create a breakthrough prototype that would revolutionize the world of cellphones. In 1993, the first pioneer of the camera phone, Daniel A Henderson invented the actual first “camera-phone” prototype” that could receive and send data to a message originator. His work was recognized by the Smithsonian Museum of American History in 2007, where it put in exposition Henderson’s 1993 prototype.

Even though the technology of camera phones was taking flight, the device was not powerful enough to send such big chunks of information (data from pictures) through a wireless system. It was in the early 1990’s that Eric Fossum created a new technology, called CMOS, that could enable the potential new prototypes of camera phones to have the capacity to send and receive data. The new “CMOS” (Complementary Metal Oxide Semi Conductor - pronounced see-moss) which, simply put, was a new type of particular series of circuits that transmitted the information effectively. CMOS turned out to be an useful technology and is still used nowadays on digital cameras, computers and of course, camera phones. This new technology, as well was Henderson’s new prototype, encouraged inventors to keep on researching integrated cameras in phones. It also made it possible for Olympus in 1995 to upgrade the cameras in their camera-phone prototype. In Japan, the Sharp Zaurus was one of the most popular cell phones in the 1990’s. Improvements on the cell phones were constantly added onto the device. It was in May 1996 that the concept of a “camera” was added on the phone. The improvement made it possible for users of the Zaurus to plug in a camera on the phone and transfer pictures. The company Apple was started developing camera phone prototypes in 1995. The prototype was invented by John Sculley but never made it to the market. It was called the Apple Videophone/PDA prototype and the idea of it was that it could link two apple videophones on two different ends and enable the users of the phones to send each other information instantaneously. Two years later in may 1997 an individual working for Canon named Shosaku Kawashima also tried to mix a digital camera and cellphone. The combination of digital cameras and cellphones connected to a wireless internet system was slowly slowing. Competition was fierce among companies, such as Olympus, Canon and Sharp, as they were all battling to see who would successfully release the first camera phone on the market.

1997 was the big year for the birth of wireless camera phones. On June 11th 1997, an innovator called Philip Kahn was able to connect a set of wires from his digital camera onto his cellphone and send picture of his new born baby to hundreds of friends and family. Story says that Kahn was asked to leave the maternity room by his wife because she needed some peace and quiet. He then asked his assistant to go fetch him so wires at the closest electronic store. Philippe Kahn able to connect those wires from his digital camera to his cellphone and send pictures automatically around the world. With the birth of his daughter Sophie came the birth of a camera phone that enabled users to send and receive data instantly.

Competition was getting aggressive. Sharp and Kyocera were two companies that were highly competitive and were running two camera phone projects simultaneously. They were both trying to put on the market the first wireless camera phone but their devices included two different kinds of technologies. Sharp’s project turned out to be the successful one. Sharp had chosen to use a technology that was based on the instantaneous sharing of pictures, whereas Kyocera had focused on “peer-to-peer” technology. It was in Japan 1999 that Sharp released to the public the first ever wireless camera phone, entitled the J-SH04. It was successful by 2001. A year later, Sprint was the first company in North America to engage in the sale of camera phones. They partnered with LightSurf - a company created by Philip Kahn in 1998, after his creation of the first camera phone. Sprint used Kahn’s technology of the “LightSurf Picture mail system” and released the Sanyo 8100 in 2002.

Camera phones have been improving since then and are now completed with higher pixel definition, better resolution and various adjustments such as the focus on the image, the brightness and color of the screen, and so on. They share pictures automatically in the network through a wireless infrastructure. CMOS is still broadly used on camera integrated in phones because of its efficiency. It enables the phone to economize the battery since it uses less energy. In today’s world, most phones, from various price range, come with integrated cameras. Improvements are still required on the quality of the cameras, but remains a good, basic tool for taking pictures. More than 1 billion devices have been sold since 1999 and it is only a beginning.


Taking a picture with a camera phone

Camera phones enable the transfer of picture media instantly without the connecting cables and wires used in most digital cameras. Most cameras use a CMOS(complementary metal oxide semiconductor)image sensor. An active-pixel sensor (APS) or CMOS Sensor, is an image sensor consisting of an integrated circuit containing an array of pixel sensors, each pixel containing a photodetector and an active amplifier. Such an image sensor is produced by a CMOS process (and is hence also known as a CMOS sensor), and has emerged as an alternative to charge-coupled device (CCD)(most digital cameras) image sensors which require much more energy to use then a phones battery would allow for a long period of time. The sensor converts light into an electric charge and processes it into electronic signals. In a CMOS sensor, each pixel has its own charge-to-voltage conversion, and the sensor often also includes amplifiers, noise-correction, and digitization circuits, so that the chip outputs digital bits. Images on a camera phone use Jpeg (Joint Photographic Experts Group) format. This Jpeg format typically formats photo data storage with a compression ratio of 10:1 to help reduce the memory stored per photo. The higher the pixel count available on a camera phone the more precise and defined is a photo can become. Say a camera phone is advertised as having 3Megapixels. This will mean that the camera takes a picture with 3megapixels of resolution(3 million pixels of information). Per pixel in a Jpeg90 photo, there will be 24 bits of information, which makes a 3 megapixel camera have about 72 million bits of information(69mb roughly).



1. Liability/Law Enforcement

A crash on an interstate involving multiple vehicles

Camera phones have now turned into one of the most effective tools for fighting crime, and helping to properly document incidents. Pictures are and have always been one of the best ways of fighting crime, and it has now become a tool that police can effectively use to keep communities across the world safe as people can take pictures of possible criminals, and other law abusers. They can also help to keep one safe, insurance-wise, by taking pictures of accidents, and of legal papers. These have attributed to having some safer communties, but a general sense of security among people.

A contemporary issue that has come up over the past few decades is people falsifying accident reports for auto accidents, and essentially every other sort of report around, but it seems to be that auto accidents are the most common. This problem has started to become a danger to someones insurance, especially in the states where thousands drive un-insured, and can end up costing others thousands of dollars in the long run. It is almost now a recommendation for a person to have a mobile phone, and even more effective would be a camera phone for driving. There is one way that people can stop these sorts of problems, by taking photos of the incident, and of the other person’s legal documents. Documenting situations can help to keep incidents in line with the facts, and help to keep the persons out of legal trouble. Having a camera phone can also help to get claims on goods and services. If you pay for a service, and something isn’t correct for what you paid for, you can take a picture as valid proof that something isn’t as it should be, and you can state your claim with the photo proof. One of the common examples of this is with hotel rooms. Someone will pay for a room, and may not have what they payed for, or something that they did not pay for. By documenting this with pictures, you have viable proof for everything that was paid and unpaid for.

2. Communication

The first picture taken with a camera phone

As a form of communication, a camera phone can direct visual information and messages instantly without the aid of wiring and/or removeable storage devices. Being able to relate media without discretion to language barriers can unify people who come from different areas of the glove. For example, say a person in france wants to show the beauty of his country to someone in america but does not know a word of english. With a picture from a camera phone they could almost instantaneously convey thier message through visual aid. A statement can be made thus that camera phones connect people in a more personal way then just through speech. With a device such as this, it is possible to capture moments and events in life that you personaly could not attend. Lets say that your son/daughter is taking thier first steps but you are away on business. You could have soneone capture that moment through picture or video and include you in on this once in a life time event.

3. Recreation

Taking pictures of accomplishments and scenery

Camera phones were created in order to provide greater media functions within cellphones. A reason that they were combined is because consumers did not want to carry two or three separate devices with themselves. The main feature of a camera is to capture still photos. These still photos can range from get together s to photographs of friends or to capture moments of beauty.In general photography allows people to make personal records of the past that they can retrieve and relive in the present. Cameras are not intended for harmful actions. It is the responsibility of person using camera phone to act in a ethical manner. An example of using a camera phone for recreational purposes would be taking pictures of traveling expeditions. People find it convenient to carry one device instead of two or three. the utility of using one device for a person's electronic needs is far more efficient than having multiple devices for different purposes. phones are a main component of the social lives of people. the camera function allows for increased social abilities such as recording and storing personal events and situations. camera phones have allowed people to network and socialize on a greater scale than they could in the past.


1. Invasion of Privacy

The Freedom of Information Protection and Privacy Act(FOIP) is the present day legislation designed to protect people from thier personal rights being abused by people with items such as camera phones. This act helps to protect individuals from intentional or unintentional misuse of personal information.

FOIP's protection of identity

Camera phones themselves are simply a new technology raised to an already existing privacy problem. With camera phones becomeing increasingly more inexpensive and thus readily available to the general public, an greater number of "voyeur pictures" are being taken and shared, without consent, on places such as the internet. As innocent as it may seem, these pictures can have dramatic effect on someones life causeing emotional distress. In one recent case we look at an event caught on multiple video camera phones showing a popular artist in todays music scene throwing a youth off his stage and which will event to a lawsuit( ). The arguement can be both made that this material helped to convict an assualt charge, but at the same time this video is an invasion of the artists personal rights since the camera phone users had niether the consent nor the right to release this material publicly. Though not all people with camera phones are infracting privacy issues, the few that are can ruin the devices image and implications for the majority.

2. Copyright Infringement

The legal definition of a Copyright is the exclusive right to make copies, license and otherwise exploit a literary, artistic or musical work whether printed, audio, video etc. Work granted such right are protected for the liftime of the author or creator and 50 years after their death.Becasue of the secrecy and ease of a camera phone, this right can easily be infringed upon. it would be simple for a person to purposefully exploit a literary work for both monetary reasons as well as convience.

Taking pictures of books with ones phone

Unquestionably, the main reason for the creation of the camera phone was for convience(so that both a camera and a seperate phone are nt needed at the same time), but this aspect of the device is also its downfall. an example of this occurance was documented in Taiwan when two individuals were arrested for recording a movie as it was released in theatres. they use their video camera phones,with the intention of distributing the movie on the internet. this action is condemned in both the United States and Canada becasue of its copyright legalities. Another case of copyright infringment was documented in Canada where a number of individuals would photograph the pages of book within stores. they would then store the images and not purchase the book, but still leave the store with the entire text stored digitally. this again is an infringement of copyright. Becasue of the harm that copyright infringment can cause to the producers of artisitc and literary works, the use of Camera phones in many locations has been banned. this is for the protection of the producers as well as other consumers, since the price of materials would increase if the majority of people were not operating within the market for artistic goods.

3. Corporate Security

Corporate secrets are at stake with ability of the camera phone, such as chocolate recipes

Many Corporations and companies have rules in order to maintain order and a business enviroment in the workplace. Camera phones alter this idea slightly becasue they allow for a more communicative and social setting(picture taking etc.). another important point is that many company produce and contain time sensitive information which is classified as secretive or widely unknown. an example of this could be the secret ingredient in a chocolate factory or sensitive finacial documents. Camera phones create a liability to the people who hold a share in these corporations, becasue if that sensitive information is widely distributed, then the competitive edge of that corporation is lost. A example of this would be in calgary, where a technical analyist took a photo of a server installation within a secure data center. he was then approtched by secureity and askedto delete the photos before leaving the premises in order to maintain corporate security*. Numerous incidences like this have occured in every aspect of industry, and becasue of this, legal and corporate action has been taken to prevent lose of information. these corporations include DaimlerChrysler, Texas Instruments, General Motors,Intel,and the world's largest maker of camera phones, Samsung Electronics.


Technology advancements, literally create an endless amount of oppritunities

Camera phones are a rapidly evolving technology which has humble origins in the production of both the telephone and the still camera. with the advancement in technology and the creation of new technologies, the cell phone and the camera have been integrated into the device which satisfies the needs of the majority of consumers. The use of camera phones cannot be secluded to family photos and traveling documentation since people are the right to choose what their actions are and how they go about doing them. It is safe to assume that the use of camera phones in the invasion and distribution of peoples privacy will not stop occurring in the future. Action has been taken to try to prevent situations occurring in which people are faced with a ethically stressed situation, but they can never be fully eliminated. The issue of camera phone and their invasion of privacy can only be concluded two ways 1 - the production of camera cell phones stopped or 2 - everyone in the world agrees on a code of ethical responsibility which cannot be broken. since neither of these events is likely to occur due to a variety of differences, the argument that camera phones are harmful or not is undetermined.

References Article from San Francisco chronical about the problems with camera phones. CBS article that explains a push for legislation is needed for camera phones, and their usage. Times of India article that explains how camera phones are causing lots of problems, especially with internet. MSNBC article about the chances that there will be some legislation, that will help protect citizens, against possible peeping toms, and others. A website that documents laws and legislation on phones, to do with safety, security, and privacy. A article on Corporate Espionage An article about filming movies as they play in the movie theatre An article about banned camera phones in companies What is legal and not involving cameras The use, opperation, and knowhow about cameras Infrared Camera and Invasion of Privacy in Canada article about how we are being watch and surveyed by cameras all the time Cameras watch us everywhere, is it wrong Article on infrared camera was ruled an invasion of privacy how cameras can be used to help stop, or convict crimes Freedom of information and protection of privacy act An Article about the first camera phone invented Quick review on Advantages and Disadvantage of Camera Phones Article about how privacy issued caused by camera phones in gyms and public places National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre (NCECC) - Fact Sheets - Camera Phones Articles about the privacy issues camera phones raise. Privacy Issues brought by camera phones in hospitals. Article about how camera phones create workplace privacy and data protection issues Article about camera phone ban and how they pose security risks to enterprises Article about using camera phones to report graffiti, litter and maintenance issues Article about the best 10 uses for a camera phone, legal and recreational. Article about Michael Bloomberg's push for New York citizens to help fight crime. Article about the best 50 emergency uses for a camera phone. Article about social impact of camera phones History of camera phones Talks about the technology of CMOS Talks about camera phones Talks about “Zaurus’ - one of the first camera phone prototypes history on camera phones from WIKI - Patent full text and image databases talks about never released apple prototypes on the market detailed research on the history of camera phones general information on camera phones Talks about the invention of the camera phone----