Use Of Camera Phones – FirstAssist Urges Employers To Ensure That Workplace Mobile Phone Policies Include The Use Of Camera Phones
Global sales of mobile phones rose to new levels in 2003 as a result of improving market conditions and new technology - such as camera phones. Indeed, by the end of 2004 camera phones are expected to make up 13% of all mobile phone sales.
However, warns FirstAssist, the new generation health and wellbeing provider, employers need to consider the consequences of upgrading old handsets to camera phones and update policies to reflect their usage.
Although camera phones do have genuine benefits for some jobs, employers should be wary of happy snappers in the office or on the production floor. There are obvious confidentiality issues in terms of Intellectual Property and impromptu photo sessions involving colleagues, which could even result in allegations of harassment.
Pauline Pembry, Employment Services Manager for FirstAssist comments, The number of people who own camera phone handsets has doubled since 2002, with more than a staggering 55 million consumers world-wide now owning a unit. But whilst these phones offer harmless fun, there is a serious side. It is not difficult to imagine the odd 'interesting' photo being e-mailed around or even laughed at in the pub after work, at the cost of someone's dignity or worse.
Not to mention, the fact that confidential information can be photographed and sent to another phone without the employer even knowing they have been subject to industrial sabotage.
Many employers have mobile phone policies in place, yet the company policy may not have been updated to address the issues related to the latest technology. Camera phones raise the issue of security and policies should reflect this. A blanket ban is not always the way forward either, as camera phones can be very useful for some professions.
There is a real need for clarity on the use of camera phones in the workplace for employers and staff alike. We advise businesses to bring their mobile phone policies up-to-date and circulate them amongst staff. Employers who get left behind by mobile phone technology could find themselves in trouble later down the line.
Mathew Bold contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.cellular-camera-phones.com.
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