Saturday, April 26, 2014

Voyeurs can use Google Glass for Creepshots

If you were a woman who has gone to a gym, lazed on a beach, travelled on an escalator, visited a superstore or even attended class; you could have been the target of a “creepshot”. A creepshot is a picture typically of the breasts or butts of unsuspecting women taken by a voyeur using a smartphone in public places. Recently, there was the incident of a man taking upskirt pictures of women travelling on elevators. Such pictures are later posted on Internet sites with embarrassing taglines such as “hot blonde with tight ass at Target Pharmacy”.
On one of the sites that post “creepshots”, the founders describe themselves as “a couple regular family guys who love to hang out, have a good time”.   They describe a ‘CreepShot’ as a candid picture which captures the natural sexy, embarrassing or funny aspect of the subject matter/person without their knowledge”.  Their advice to voyeurs is to “Take a look at the world around you.  There are creep opportunities everywhere: during your commute, shopping, coffee shops, office, sporting events or just even walking down the street!  How about creeping your wife? “
Although voyeurs and websites that host them argue that these pictures were taken in public places, the context, instant and lack of consent when they were shot, violates personal privacy. For example, women working out in a gym do not expect to be photographed in an exercise pose that highlights a particular part of her anatomy.   
Existing laws need to be rewritten as they are not phrased well enough to deal with these immoral and reprehensible acts. The Massachusetts highest court ruled last week that a man who took cellphone photos up the skirts of women riding the Boston subway did not violate state law because the women were not nude or partially nude. The court ruled that existing Peeping Tom laws protected people from being photographed in dressing rooms and bathrooms when nude or partially nude, but did not protect clothed people in public area.
Recently Google announced an update to Google Glass which allowed users to snap photographs just by winking.  Detecting eye blinks is much more difficult than catching a person using his camera and creepshot possibilities are one among the several privacy concerns that the use of Google Glass raises.

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