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Samsung to ban camera-phones from factories

Industrial espionage fears

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Samsung will next week ban the use of camera-phones in its factories in a bid, it said last week, to curb industrial espionage.

The restriction will affect both visitors and employees and will come into force on 14 July, the Korea Herald reports.

Samsung itself makes phones of the kind it plans to ban. But the ease with which such phones can be used to transmit pics to other handsets, almost instantly, has the electronics giant worried.

It fears the "possible leakage of core technologies" as individuals snap away at unreleased products, facilities and other things the company would rather keep secret.

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. As are the possibilities of using camera-phones as 'peeping tom' tools - which is why the Korean government is considering banning them from certain public places, such as swimming pools, the Herald adds.

Samsung's ban will be imposed only on its chip, LCD and electronics factories - its handset plants will remain open to camera-phone users, for obvious reasons. ®

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Korea Herald: Samsung bans camera phones in workplace

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