All technologies have unintended consequences – most of them for the better. Of late we’ve heard about the unintended consequences of mobile phones, specifically the digital camera, audio recorder and video features.
I seriously value the smartphone camera function and see it as having a positive impact in unintended ways. Yes, I break out my smartphone camera when visiting friends and family but I also know that if there is a car accident or crime, the odds of someone capturing it on video or with a still image is greater than ever. For the most part, it’s safe to assume that just about everyone has a camera – and that’s a beautiful thing. It’s good for insurance companies, victims, police reports and solving crimes.
Conversely there are other unintended consequences. With camera phone use on the rise, more and more we’re seeing “no phones allowed” signs – from the recent Royal Wedding to court rooms, movie debuts and concerts. In those contexts it’s clear to see why smart phones can be perceived as a threat.
Technology is already on the way that will disable video with the flip of a switch, in fact, Apple recently announced it is planning to ban iPhone videos at concerts where infrared sensors can detect when a person is filming and disable the camera. More on this patented technology and the freedom of speech discussion can be found here.
The police are sensitive about being filmed, especially given some of the activity that has been captured and quickly shared with the media and on YouTube. Several examples can be found here.
The unintended consequences are clear. Similar to convicted computer hackers being banned from using a computer, watch for criminals to be banned from using a smartphone. It’s already started. Recently, a 65 year old man was banned from carrying a smartphone and accessing the Internet due to pornography.
The unintended consequence of a powerful technology enjoyed by millions yet abused by a few, may soon rear its ugly head.
In the interim, say “cheese” because the odds are, if you’re out in public, someone CAN take a photo of you.
A little bit about me: I am loyal to any brand as long as it works. My beliefs are 1) technology is life altering 2) the opposite of social media engagement is anti-social behavior and 3) there is no substitute for eye contact. When not steeped in client work I can be found enjoying the companionship of equine and canine friends, whose honesty and simplistic needs will forever keep me grounded in reality.