Communications of the IIMA


One of Louis Daguerre’s1 earliest pictures of a Paris street scene was taken in 1839. Due to long exposure time required to capture the image, moving objects did not register, so the street appears empty. However, during the exposure, a man stopped on the street corner to have his shoes shined. As a result, both he and the person shining the shoes appear in the picture. It can be argued that these men are the first people to ever have been photographed. If this is one of the earliest photos, then they are certainly the first to be unknowingly photographed. Late in 2002, in the run up to Christmas, outlets acting as agents for the three mobile phone licence holders in Ireland started selling a new generation of mobile phone handsets. These handsets incorporated a digital picture messaging facility, which enables the phone user to take a digital photograph, which can be sent to others with similar handsets, and in some cases, via the Internet and email. This is an exploratory study of the usage issues surrounding camera phones. The study highlights a number of issues concerning privacy. This study identifies camera phone stakeholders and includes analyses of their attitudes regarding camera phone use. The study uncovers stakeholders’ reluctance to accept and address possible negative effects. It also highlights the lack of both formal and informal methods of regulation. The legal examination highlights the possibility of existing (Irish) legislation curtailing the use of camera phones for specific purposes. The ethical literature, while contradictory in places, mirrors in some cases, general principles of privacy outlined in Irish case law