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Meta Group warns on Office camera phones


December 13, 2003

December 14, 2003 With the cost of adding cameras to mobile phones becoming marginal (US$2-$5 per phone), META Group expects the majority of phones to include this capability within two to three years.

However, for many organisations, cameras represent a significant liability or security risk - inappropriate candid shots of employees, pictures of production lines or worse.

While the quality of most current camera phones is poor, it is improving quickly and represents a potential channel for leaks of sensitive data or images that can produce unintended consequences.

META Group recommends setting up a clear policy of no camera-enabled phones for all companies. "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.

"in addition, most organisations should examine mobile phones coming on premises and prevent camera-enabled devices from entering, particularly those belonging to non-employees." Enterprises should set firm policies for such devices and restrict their acquisition and use. Furthermore, all employees should be made aware of the policy and be called on to actively enforce it throughout the workplace.

"Although we expect to see some camera-enabled devices used in enterprises - insurance adjusters, inspections, field services - most organisations will look unfavorably on the deployment of camera-enabled devices and restrict their acquisition and use," said Gold.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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