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This is a really cool solution to a problem that really seems like it shouldn't exist.



It's all relative. There are probably a lot of subway riding Japanese ladies that would argue that this problem really really should exist.


How do you figure? The same laws don't apply to digital cameras which come on all shapes and sizes.


When you are holding a camera, the intent is somewhat obvious. When you are holding a phone, not so much. That's the real separation.


Cameras come in all different shapes and sizes. I can get cameras that look like cellphones. I can even get keychain cameras for $4 off eBay and put them in my shoes. Set them to video and shoot hours of up skirt shots.

The law does nothing to stop people who want to take pictures without you knowing they're doing it. Anyone who wants to will. The law is pointless


No, it is not pointless.

The point of this law is to create the perception that the authorities are doing something about the perceived epidemic of upskirt photography.

The same authorities also erect signs next to escalators warning people that upskirt photography is a crime. They serve the same purpose: to make escalator-riding ladies feel that the authorities are watching out for them.

Don't knock it. It works.


I'm sorry, but I think if you buy that argument, your priorities are totally out of whack.

Putting legal restraints on someone else's technology because a very small number of people were subjected to mildly embarrassing/uncomfortable situations is ridiculous.


Privacy concerns like the right not to be photographed are not just about minor nuisances. People who are victims of stalking, violence, harassment and so on, deserve to be alerted if someone is trying to photograph them.

For example, imagine you're in witness protection and some random person snaps your pic and posts it online. Some face scanning thing finds the pic and it clues in the bad guys to your location. Now you're dead because someone didn't respect your privacy.


>People who are victims of stalking, violence, harassment and so on, deserve to be alerted if someone is trying to photograph them.

Why does that imply that it's OK to dictate how I'm allowed to use my technology? I'd say everyone's right to own and control their own devices trumps a few people's right to feel a little better about all the dozens of scary icky boogy men hanging out on the train.

>Now you're dead because someone didn't respect your privacy.

Which is a completely separate issue from legally requiring someone's device to follow some ridiculous rule invented because of a negligible edge case.

Do you really believe that requiring a camera to make a noise will actually protect anyone's privacy? People can always disable the speaker or do illegal hacks to the device. The only thing this law does is set a terrible precedent of allowing the government to control people's electronic devices.


People can always disable the speaker or do illegal hacks to the device

In the example scenario I gave, the biggest threat to a person's privacy was not hacker types, but just everyday people who post photos online. I think it's pretty self-evident that the majority of people would not modify their device in this way, even if they could.

Why does that imply it's OK to dictate how I'm allowed to use my technology

Even the most freedom-loving libertarians among us generally concede that your freedom doesn't extend to harming others. In the issue at hand we probably aren't even really talking about your freedom, per se, but simply how devices are manufactured. As you mentioned, no one can really stop you from modding a device, anyway.

By the way, you might want to try flipping your own reasoning around, and thinking about what a minor inconvenience it is to hear the camera sound, so that people's privacy can be protected.


You don't need to be a hacker to download an android app that disables the sound illegally, or remove the speakers.

> Even the most freedom-loving libertarians among us generally concede that your freedom doesn't extend to harming others.

Do you really consider being able to take photos silently "harming others"?

Why don't we just make cameras on cell phones illegal? After all, your freedom to have a camera "doesn't extend to harming others."

The reason your argument is bullshit is that most people (including libertarians) don't support punishing people before they're proven guilty of a crime. You can certainly punish upskirt-shot-takers, if you want, but don't preemptively mix up literally every innocent person with a smartphone.

>no one can really stop you from modding a device, anyway

But they can and have made it illegal, so if I do modify my device in the way I like they can throw me in prison.

>thinking about what a minor inconvenience it is to hear the camera sound, so that people's privacy can be protected.

This is a completely false dichotomy. The camera sound is not protecting people's privacy to any significant degree. It has the much more significant effect of inconveniencing a huge number of people.

You also haven't addressed the fact that this sets up the precedent for the government controlling people's technology.


Do you really consider being able to take photos silently "harming others"?

In very specific circumstances it can be, for reasons I already described.

In your world where simple privacy-enhancing measures are to be vociferously opposed should they cause any inconvenience whatsoever, I hope you never have enemies that you need to keep privacy from.


Are you arguing that it's impossible for any law to increase utility for a small group of people while decreasing utility for a much larger group of people? Or are you arguing that one group's utility is more important than other group's?


After all, there must be a reason that there's even A SIGN for it!

http://main.makeuseoflimited.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploa...


Why? What do you do if you notice someone taking a picture of you? Hearing the sound doesn't solve any problems.


I don't think it's that hard to understand why they might have done it this way, is it? Privacy immediately comes to mind.


The front-facing camera doesn't have an indicator light, so this sound is the only thing preventing an app from stealthily capturing a photo or video recording of you while using it.

I'd imagine analysis of your emotional reaction to some stimuli (gameplay elements, advertisements, whatever) would be fairly valuable.




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