Thursday, 11 October 2012

mobile phone cameras - boon or bane


There are cell phones in the market starting with a VGA camera to upto 18 MP (Mega pixels).  what started out as hazy recordings on a VGA camera have reached a state of cyrstal clear picture with high resolution cameras.

With the increase in resolution, every  individual has become trigger happy and you could find anyone and everyone around you clicking away merrily in the shopping malls, beaches, hotels, roads etc.   Earlier you needed to carry a cumbersome camera (even that reduced in size now) to be able to take pictures and therefore it was carried only by those who really wanted or needed to take picture. Now with camera being a part of the most essential device in our lives (read MOBILE), the camera is also there with us all the time.  And with everyone carrying one in his/her pocket you cannot keep tabs on who is clicking your picture or recording a video of you.  That essentially is the crux of the problem.


Women and men (in some cases) face this perennial problem in the current day world.  There are constantly being clicked, videographed without their consent or knowledge.  If you look around closely next time, you may find some guy quietly clicking away photographs of pretty women on the street.  Sometimes these guys make it obvious to the women that they are clicking a photograph.  I happened to catch one such guy who was blatantly clicking photographs on a beach.  I took his mobile and was shocked to see that he had clicked photographs of many women on the beach in in-appropriate moments when they  had involuntarily exposed themselves (due to the waves) for fleeting moments, as there were on a beach.  Though i made him delete all the photographs he moved ahead and joined up with a gang of four, to whom he narrated his ordeal with me.  They all noticed me and moved to another part of the beach where they continued with the same activity.

similar is the case in a nightclub i visited where youngsters were busy clicking away photographs of women in their clubwear which quite obviously would be revealing.  on complaining about these guys to a bouncer, they were stopped but the moment the bouncer left they continued with their activity again.

few nightclubs and hotels have contemplated installing cell phone jammers but the problem is that it would totally knock out the cell phone signal but the camera which is an inbuilt device in the cell phone would still continue to function

the internet too is full of such photographs - be it women on the beach, in parties or just friendly get togethers.  Many of them photos are of  women having a bit of fun, or in in-inappropriate moments or upskirt shots or of  wardrobe malfunction.  The multiple angles in which such photographs are taken makes one realise no part of any woman is free from the prying lens of a cell phone camera!!

Still, these activities may seem relatively harmless when compared to the increased instances of making explicit videos of rape and molestation forcing the victims on several occassions to commit suicide and on other occassions suffer in silence for fear of their videos being broadcast.  

Honestly, we should ask ourselves - why do we need that camera in the cell phone? if it is to take pics of our near and dear ones, we do have a digital camera!!! if it is to take photographs outside, then what kind of photographs do we intend to take?

Can we ban cell phones with cameras altogether? that may be the step in the right direction as there are very few legitimate uses for the cell phone camera but the ills are too many.   What would the cell phone companies say about that? especially when they have glossy ads highlighting the camera performance in the cell phone!!

The camera in the cell phone is definitely something we can live without. The govt may consider banning the same in the larger social interest!!!

 

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