3G's Den of Vice?
Consider a report from Singapore’s Strait Times that highlights the case of 48-year-old newspaper deliveryman Teng Poh Kuan, who has been accused of attempting to secretly photograph a woman in a public toilet using his mobile phone. The case is believed to be the first allegation of its type to make it to the Singapore courts.
Teng allegedly broke into the female toilet of a fitness club and affixed his Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) 3650 mobile phone [ed. note: bet Nokia is overjoyed about this little piece of publicity] to the false ceiling of the bemused woman's cubicle. He was escorted off to the local jailhouse shortly after the incident.
Financially stricken carriers will be praying Poh Kuan’s actions don’t lead to a backlash over the potential abuse of their fancy new photo messaging services. Fitness centers in Japan and Australia have already taken the step of banning the use of camera phones, and the technology is banned altogether in Saudi Arabia.
U.K. business advisor Croner Consulting is warning that such incidents may become the norm, if commercial 3G technology from the likes of Hutchison 3G UK Ltd. becomes used as a means of sexual harassment in the workplace. The consultancy fears that video streaming could give less scrupulous employees the opportunity to film someone at work and send it instantly to a colleague or friend, breaching employee confidentiality.
Instances of sexual harassment at work could become rife, says Richard Smith, corporate and training manager at Croner. “Whereas the use of corporate email and Internet can be monitored, employees’ personal phone messages cannot, and therefore provide a potentially easy platform for sexual harassment.
“Unless businesses update their policies on the use of 3G phones in the workplace, it won’t be long until photo or video messages are used as evidence in a sex discrimination trial.” Smith urges employers to draw up a personal communications policy, based on standard confidentiality laws, which refers to 3G phones.
Unstrung would like to make it known that the majority of its staff work from home. Alone.
— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung