Camera phones are a security risk

Wednesday, 10 December 2003, 2:23 PM EST

Meta Group, the US-based analyst firm, has issued a report cautioning on the use of camera phones in the workplace. With the cost of adding cameras to mobile phones becoming marginal, it expected the majority of phones to include this capability within two to three years. However, it warned that for many organisations cameras represent a significant liability or security risk and listed dangers such as such as inappropriate candid shots of employees and pictures of production lines.

While the quality of most cameras in current phones is poor, it nonetheless represents a potential channel for leaks of sensitive data or other images that can produce unintended consequences, it concluded. The firm recommended that employers set up a clear policy of no camera-enabled phones.

"Most organisations that provide phones to their employees and that are evaluating new, feature-rich mobile phones should require the vendor or carrier/supplier to permanently disable the camera or provide a device without a camera," said Jack Gold, vice president with Meta Group's Technology Research Services division.

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