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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 June, 2003, 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK
Australia bans mobiles from pools
People using camera phones
Say cheese ... but not in a pool or gym
Mobiles are to be banned from swimming pools across Australia amid fears that camera phones are being misused.

The ban will affect more than 300 gyms, pools and sports centres across the country run by the YMCAs of Australia.

People using the pools and changing rooms of these places will no longer be able to take their mobile phones with them, although other areas of the building will not be affected.

It comes as a proactive response to a potential problem, according to the chief executive of YMCAs of Australia Bob Nicholson.

Ban on phones grows

I can understand why they would wish to ban them but they would need to extend that ban to all cameras
Nokia spokesman
He hopes the ban will become policy at all YMCA swimming pools.

The Royal Life Saving Society of Australia has also advised a further 3,000 public swimming pools to introduce a similar ban.

It is hoped the move will protect the privacy of both adult and children using the facilities.

There have been cases around the world of people using camera phones to take illicit photographs and more and more public places are moving to ban their use.

In Japan, some fitness centres ban the use of camera phones and the Italian information commissioner has issued guidelines on where and how such phones can be used.

Several councils in Northern Ireland have banned such phones from their leisure centres as have a number of swimming pools in Jersey.

In Saudi Arabia camera phones are banned altogether.

Blanket ban

Handset manufacturer Nokia believes camera phones are being unfairly picked on.

"I can understand why they would wish to ban them but they would need to extend that ban to all cameras," said a spokesman for Nokia.

He points out that with tiny digital cameras on the market, anyone wishing to take furtive photos would not need a camera phone to do so.

"People should respect other people's privacy and we point out in our handbooks that camera use should obey privacy laws," the spokesman added.


SEE ALSO:
Council bans camera phones
05 Jun 03  |  Northern Ireland
Phones banned from pools
03 Jun 03  |  Europe
Paedophile fear prompts phone ban
20 May 03  |  Manchester
Furtive phone photography spurs ban
04 Apr 03  |  Technology


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