U.S. considering making camera phones "click"


Creepy-camera Ever wondered if that guy talking on his phone was actually doing more than just texting and chatting? One American Congressman thinks you shouldn’t be in any doubt.

Ars Technica, as usual, has unearthed a juicy piece of proposed legislation from south of the border. The Camera Phone Predator Alert Act as it is being called, wants all manufacturers of camera-equipped cellphones to make a shutter noise mandatory for the user.

In other words, it would be impossible to snap a pic with your phone without some kind of audible sound being played at a loudness level that has only been described as “audible within a reasonable radius of the phone”.

Clearly the proposal comes from the right place – the bill’s author, Representative Peter King of New York – wants to protect children and others from being exploited without their knowledge.

The question is whether the proposal makes sense in the real world. Would it stop cyber-creeps from taking questionable photos or merely force them to crack open their devices to disconnect the speaker?

Ars suggests that were such a bill to become law, it should include the option for the user to choose the sound effect associated with the image capture, much like a ring-tone. But surely that would defeat the purpose of the bill… if any sound can be the click of the camera, will we become desensitized to every sound?

This concept isn’t new. Korea has already enacted similar legislation, as has Japan (thanks Iria).

While the proposed Act would only make the shutter-sound a requirement in the U.S., it’s possible that manufacturers, in wanting to keep production runs simpler, could include this ‘feature’ on our devices too.

Do you think camera phones should be required by law to make an audible ‘click’ sound when photos are taken?
( polls)

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8 comments

  1. Iria

    Geez, this is already done in Japan, so the comment about "it's unlikely that manufacturers would want to sell a different version for Canada and could potentially include this 'feature' on our devices too" is totally wrong. In fact, in Japan, even the iPhone has the feature.

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  2. TimR

    mmm yea but what if we ever came upon a crime in progress like photographing a murder if he heard the cell snappin away he would be chasin us down there goes the evidence for the cops to catch their guy and he gets away scott free

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  3. doug

    These creeps want everyone to pay for a feature that prevents u from secretly photographing unlawful acts by politicians? And the excuse is to prevent pervs taking pictures of indecently dressed girls? Dress the girls,lock up this politician!

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  4. Chris

    Yay.. another piece of control legislation, where the masses are punished for the stupidity of a few. Next thing you know, all cell phones will come with cords that we attach to our coats and thread through the sleeves so we don't lose them.

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  5. jon

    This would be pointless. I have a program that many other people know about called bitpim. You can delete the shutter sounds in 3 seconds on virtually any cellular phone. Way to waste money idiots.

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  6. mickj

    I see where this is coming from, and in theory, it's a good idea, but pretty much pointless when you think about where the preditors are gonna be- noisy playgrounds and the like…

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