Camera Shy

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It might some day revolutionize the way people take pictures. A hand held cell phone with a function allowing people to capture video photographs, but there are those whose concerns go beyond the convenience of these devices.

Among them is Belpre city council, which wonders whether they might be used to take more than a simple family photograph.

"Let's say you're in a locker room, and someone takes a phone and you assume they're using their cell phone," says councilman John Baker. "But instead, they're taking your picture. And, I suggest, under these conditions, you don't want your picture taken."

But Baker admits council and the city aren't sure how well a law regulating such devices would work, and Belpre High School youngsters taking part in the city's student government day raised similar issues.

"The question," says Baker, "is whether you want to spend $50,000 to trace down a misdemeanor. Can it be done? Yes, but feasibly, probably not."

Council, in fact, tabled the proposed ordinance, and since it's the next to last regular council meeting of the year, it's likely to die without action. The measure, however, could be introduced again after the first of 2004.

No one argues this technology is here to stay. It's a matter of how wisely it’s used.