Camera phones demand social etiquette

An internet lobbyist group is reminding telcos that ideas of acceptable use apply to mobile phones as well.

The Internet Safety Group in New Zealand is issuing a challenge to Telecom (New Zealand's Telstra) and Vodafone to promulgate safety messages and guidelines to "social etiquette" through their advertising and other promotional material.

“For example, in an ad someone could ask permission before taking another person’s photo or ask before sending an image over the [internet],” says ISG head Liz Butterfield.

“As part of an ad, someone could reword their text message because it might cause offence. Such small additions would enable the ad not only to market a product but at the same time help create a culture for appropriate social behaviour with these technologies.”

The Internet Safety Group began education about mobile phone “safety” more than a year ago, Butterfield notes. A pamphlet issued to parent raises the issue, and the ISG’s new NetSafe Kit for schools covers some of the challenges mobile phones present in the school environment. These include bullying, harassment, cheating and access to inappropriate or illegal material.

Some of these – with the addition of industrial espionage and inappropriate transfer of confidential material – could clearly also apply in the business environment.

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Stephen Bell

IDG News Service
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