Samsung to ban camera phones

Fears industrial espionage

Samsung is to ban camera phones from its semiconductor, flat-panel and electronics factories because of industrial espionage fears.

The ban, due to come into effect from 14 July, will apply to both workers and visitors to the factories.

The prohibition was introduced amid fears that the latest generation of smart phones could be used to spy on Samsung's latest manufacturing processes. Ironically, the Korean company is a leading manufacturer of the technology it wants to ban.

"Some pointed out that this is a violation of individuals' rights to purchase and own camera phones, but the concern about possible leakage of core technologies is so great that we have decided to ban camera phones in the workplace," a Samsung executive told the Korea Herald.

The paper reports that the ban will not extend to the Gumi factory where Samsung manufactures its own camera phones.

Highlighting Samsung's concerns is a new trend emerging in Japan of digital magazine distribution. Publishers have had a hard enough time coping with online rivals breaking stories ahead of their own, much longer deadlines. Now Japanese camera-phone owners are visiting newsstands, snapping articles, emailing the pictures home then printing them out to read them at their leisure - at no cost.

The implications for advertisers are clear. ®

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