Saturday, January 29, 2011

3G,Cell Phones, Social Networking and the not so Innocent Obsession

When a cell phone with a camera and video recorder, 2G/3G network, email, mobile applications and social networks come together we have an explosive mix of technology which makes it easy to capture and post snapshots of your life experiences.  While most of the images may be innocuous there are a few sent by many which are intended to be intimate private exchanges; nude/semi nude images or video’s designed to tantalize a partner or woo another into a relationship. According to a survey by the National Campaign in Sept 2008 , 21% of teen girls and 18% of teen boys have sent/ posted nude or semi-nude images of themselves.
While sending such personal images or videos is against the law and both the sender and the receiver are liable to prosecution in several countries, the risk is higher if images are widely circulated or distributed. Wide circulation and distribution normally takes places in the following circumstances.
a)      You or your partner lose cell phones where these images are stored. Tens of thousands are lost or stolen each month
e)      More likely, you do not set your privacy settings correctly
i)        You sent a picture to an unknown online friend, believing you were anonymous and cannot be traced
j)        Your pictures are sold to an online pornography site
In many cases the act of recording these images perhaps is a voluntary act. It seemed fun, perhaps was the “in thing “to do, but the unconsidered long term consequences remain captured in the by lanes of the World Wide Web. Any image can be instantly copied and stored in a vast number of places, difficult to retrieve and erase. A significant portion of these images are circulated due to trust between the sender and receiver without considering the consequences if the trust breaks down or the trust was unfounded in the first place.
Recognise the risk of digital distribution and storage of personal content
If you are a victim of blackmail, its best to go get help from the cyber cops
Download and read the survey conducted by The National Campaign

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