New Gadgets May Be Hindering Privacy

By: Summer Knowles
By: Summer Knowles

August 26, 2005

With the rising popularity of new electronic devices, privacy is becoming a huge issue.

Experts are now saying with increased technology comes increased responsibility, particularly for businesses.

Picture and video phones are some of the latest fads among teenagers and adults, but for businesses it can be more of a nuisance, causing a variety of privacy issues.

"Today people can take pictures of you or make voice recordings or otherwise capture you at times when you don't even suspect it, in private places," said UVA's Paul Lombardo, Ph.D, J.D.

According to Lombardo the days of easily making the distinction between public and private space are gone.

"The best recommendation for people in terms of privacy is if you're in public don't expect to be treated privately," he added.

With picture and video phones in high demand, one's private moments could be made public at the click of a button, and for that exact reason gyms like the ACAC have implemented a new policy.

"We have put a policy in place where you cannot take a cell phone [in], or use a cell phone in the locker room area," said Grant Gamble, the ACAC's Chief Operating Officer. "We feel we have a definite responsibility in the locker room areas. We're very aware of this issue, and we're very aggressive in ensuring that members and non-members feel comfortable."

"I don't know how necessary it is," said gym member Jay Lopez. "People that live around Charlottesville and Albemarle are pretty good about following rules and understanding what's going on, but I think it's a great idea."

As technology advances, experts believe gyms and other businesses might have to step up their own surveillance to keep up with peeping toms.

As a reminder, if you think your privacy has been seriously violated, its possible to bring a lawsuit for damages.

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