Law May Curb Cell Phone Camera Use

Cell phone camera voyeurism will soon be a federal offense if the Video Voyeurism Prevention Act of 2004 continues its nearly unopposed march through Congress. The bill, designed to protect people's privacy from prying camera phones, needs only to pass the House of Representatives and to be signed by the president to become law. While Congress didn't consider it before recessing this week, proponents say chances are good the bill could pass this year. Still, cell phone manufacturers, while not actively opposing it, are quietly skeptical of laws that criminalize cell phone camera snooping.

Privacy in Public

The Video Voyeurism Prevention Act prohibits photographing or videotaping a naked person without his or her consent in any place where there can be "a reasonable expectation of privacy." Punishment would include fines of up to $100,000 or up to a year in prison, or both. S.1301 was first introduced in 2000, two years before the first cell phone cameras appeared in the United States. Its original language focused mainly on privacy infringements using hidden video cameras.

News source: PCWorld.com

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