*click!* New Bill Aims to Force Cell Camera Sounds, Protect Children
By David Murphy
No, we’re not joking. The Camera Phone Predator Alert Act (H.R. 414) is the real deal. Fresh off the legislative desk of New York Representative Peter King (R), the bill–currently cosponsored by goose egg–would require an audible tone to accompany all cellular phones with an installed camera that are created in the U.S. This tone, likely a clicking noise of some sort, would sound, “within a reasonable radius of the phone whenever a photograph is taken with the camera in such phone.” And don’t think that evildoers would be able to conceal their predatory ways by flicking an iPhone-style audio toggle switch. Any mobile phones built after the bill becomes a law would be prohibited from including any way to eliminate or reduce the volume of said noise.
And the reasoning for this legislation? But a single sentence: “Congress finds that children and adolescents have been exploited by photographs taken in dressing rooms and public places with the use of a camera phone.”
While this bill might very well age into irrelevance within the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, it’s not as far-fetched as it might sound. Camera phones in Japan already have features like this enabled by law: A rude awakening to new phone owners that would like a way to turn off–or turn down–shutter noises that have had their volumes jacked up for this reason specifically.