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Phone makers to make major launches at CeBIT

But Peeping Toms could be fined or jailed

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Next month's CeBIT show in Hannover, Germany will see the launch of a raft of new digital camera mobile phones, according to German press reports. Service provider Vodafone will introduce a mobile phone with an integrated CCD 240 x 320 resolution camera: the GX30 tri-band, developed by Japanese manufacturer Sharp.

Philips will also show a new clamshell phone, the 855, but this one sports a cable to show pictures on a television screen. The tri-band phone has a 4096-colour screen and 9MB of built-in memory.

Last Summer, NEC showed a camera phone that can receive digital TV signals. A new model to be showcased at CeBIT, the V601N, which will be able to do the same with analog TV. However, NEC has no plans to introduce the phone on the European market any time soon.

Panasonic and Sagem will demonstrate new camera phones for the European mobile internet service i-mode. The 'lifestyle handy' Sagem MyC-3 can also be used as a MP3 player.

Although camera phones are getting popular, new laws are underway to seriously limit their usage. According to news magazine Der Spiegel, a new privacy law in Germany could lead to fines or even imprisonment for up to one year for voyeurs who infringe upon another person's private life by taking digital pictures.

Plans for the new law were prompted by the growth of Internet pages showing people secretly filmed naked or partially clothed in swimming pool and changing rooms. The law would not differentiate between photos taken by individuals or pictures taken by paparazzi photographers. ®

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