Wednesday, August 10, 2005

“Could pornography be coming to a mobile near you?”

I have never watched Campbell Live before, but I watched it tonight for the segment about mobile phones with videos. I have personally never had the desire to own a camera phone, but am intrigued at the way improved mobile technologies are emerging (and the associated deliberations). Gone are the days when we used our mobiles solely for making calls. They are now being packed with more and more (unnecessary?) features. I question whether or not these features are providing more harm than good.

With the arrival of mobile networks like Telecom’s T3G, the application of mobile phones is expanding. However, like all technologies, video/camera phones have their problems. On Campbell Live they pointed out the issues of security, privacy, and mischievous purposes surrounding the use of these phones. In particular, they highlighted the fact that there is now a problem of pornography being downloaded from the Internet onto mobile phones. With heaps of young children now using mobile phones, this seems to be a serious problem – that such material is readily accessible. Of course, the Internet itself poses the same threat, but do we really need more sources of aquisition of inappropriate material for our youth?

I feel like the negative aspects of this particular mobile phone feature (video)outweigh the positive. It is simply too easy to discreetly take pictures/videos of unknowing people, and transmit them elsewhere. It is no surprise that PXT and video phones have been banned from certain places (changing rooms, etc.). However, I highly doubt a few rules are going to stop people from abusing this new technology.

On Campbell Live tonight they also touched on the notion of video calls being the next big thing. Well, this would be kind of cool…as long as you’re not worried about how you look. To demonstrate this, at the end of the segment, John Campbell ‘crossed live’ to a reporter in Foodtown(!!!) via a video/camera phone. Rather than a ‘video’, it was merely a slow series of poor quality still shots. Rather unimpressive really. Great idea John, but maybe you need a better phone before you venture into this new method of live reports. Although I am not personally too keen on the idea of camera phones, I really hope that this aspect is improved.

Anyway, I am quite happy with my non-camera phone for the time being. When video phones become the norm, I may have to upgrade. I just hope that porn does not infiltrate this technology the way it has on the Internet.

- Shan Doherty


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