The security risk of camera phones transmitting inappropriate and sensitive corporate data from within company premises represents a significant liability for enterprises, analyst Meta Group has warned.
The organisation is advising companies to set clear policies on disallowing camera-enabled phones to prevent transmission of images such as candid shots of employees or production lines.
Even though the quality of cameras in most current phones is poor, it still represents a potential channel for leaks of sensitive data or other images that can produce unintended consequences.
And the problem is set to get worse as the cost of adding cameras to mobile phones drops to around $2 to $5 per phone.
"Most organisations that provide phones to their employees and that are evaluating new, feature-rich mobile phones should require the vendor or carrier/supplier to permanently disable the camera or provide a device without a camera," said Jack Gold, vice president of Meta Group's technology research services.
"In addition, most organisations should examine mobile phones coming on premises and prevent camera-enabled devices from entering, particularly those belonging to non-employees."
Employees should be made aware of the policy and be called on to actively enforce it throughout the workplace, according to advice offered by Meta.
"Although we expect to see some camera-enabled devices used in enterprises - insurance adjusters, inspections, field services - most organisations will look unfavourably on the deployment of camera-enabled devices and restrict their acquisition and use," Gold added.
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