You have a small video camera, tucked away into your phone. For most people, that means you can do a lot of cute things like capturing your kid playing on the beach, or your friend making a complete fool of himself at the karaoke after having one too many beers.
But there are some pretty sick people out there, and a small video camera is just way too much power for them to have. For example, there are instances of men who, while riding on the elevator, positioning their phones to peek inside the skirts of women. This is a downright violation of privacy, and mall security guards do their best to catch them in the act. But it still happens.
Others use video phones to record their girl friends (or one night stands) in their naked glory, with the understanding that it was “just for kicks". But sometimes these clips find their way to *** sites, or are circulated around the Internet in a grand scale version of locker-room boasting. There are some cases when possessive boyfriends would use these videos for blackmail, threatening to send them to the girl’s friends or co-workers if she doesn’t agree to certain things. In fact, the use of video phones to record people without their knowledge is the most common way that this feature is abused. Some schools have taken efforts to actually ban video phones.
Video phones can also be used as a way of industrial espionage. Most stores, for example, will not allow you to bring in a camera to record merchandising displays. Video phones lets you take all of that in while pretending to read a text message.
Police have also uncovered the modus operandi of thieves who use video phones to identify their victims. They record the faces of people who have made large bank withdrawals. They stay in the bank, or at the atm, noting down whoever has left with a sizable amount of money. They then send this video to an accomplice waiting nearby, who will then assault the person.
In some cases, video phones are not consciously abused, but are nevertheless used in a way that infringes on certain laws. For example, fans may use their phones to capture a scene from a concert, then post it on a website. This footage is then circulated among other fans, unknowingly breaking copyright laws. While these people certainly didn’t intend to hurt their favorite musician or band, and made no money from the distribution if this material, it is nevertheless an unacceptable breach of protocol.
However, on a high note, there are also times when video phones have saved the day. In one celebrated case, a citizen was able to capture a bribe between an election official and a candidate on his mobile phone. Another bystander used a video phone to tape the face of a criminal exciting from a house robbery. As with all forms of technology, whether the video phone is productive or destructive clearly depends on the person using it.
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