possible legal problems due to its misuse


2020 high-end mobiles and those to come offer increasingly powerful zoom capabilities. The so-called optical zoom allows us to get closer to the faraway, losing the minimum possible quality, although with the help of software you can achieve surprising results. Recall that the Galaxy S20 Ultra has come onto the market with capabilities of up to 100X zoom.

If the evolution continues as we are seeing so far, the phones of 2021 and onwards will have zoom capabilities capable of rival those of today’s reflex cameras, in the same way that they did with the quality of the shots, where nobody doubts the high-quality results that a photo taken from a mobile phone can offer.

Optical zoom in all pockets

This evolution will make the optical zoom increasingly in more pockets, as it happens with all mobile technology, being first present in high-end mobiles more expensive on the market, and gradually democratizing towards the mid-range, reaching a greater number of users. This makes us consider the possibility of a future social problem regarding privacy, when everyone has in their hands a device capable of capturing even the smallest detail, however far it may be.

Samsung Galaxy S20 ultra cameras

It is true that at the moment and while reading these lines, you can buy binoculars or a camera with a large zoom, but it is something that is still far from what can derive from putting in the hands of millions of people a powerful zoom tool integrated into their mobiles. Many users start tinkering with these zoom capabilities to try to capture the unattainable by the human eye, but can we get into trouble by prying too much?

Aim, but knowing where

As in any legal matter, everything will depend on the specific case and the possible or no violation of privacy. But let’s take an example: the neighbor across the street has bought a new mobile phone, with one of the best zooms on the market and his intentions are none other than to use them to try to capture details of our private life within our home.

If the facts are proven and with the certainty and evidence that these recordings are being carried out, a judge could determine that the subject in question is capturing images of our family redoubt in a permanent way, without any control, with helplessness and without possibility. of control what images are being captured from our privacy, if they are disseminated or not, to whom and what is the use to be made of them. In this case, it is possible that the large number of jurisprudence, regarding the ideal placement of surveillance cameras due to the rebound effect, captures images of people living in a foreign home (neighbors). Therefore, any situation of personal scope, the user You could have problems if you use the zoom of your mobile in order to capture images of the privacy of another user without their consent.

What the law says

Likewise and according to the Data Protection Law (LOPD15 / 99): “Consent will not be required when personal data is collected for the exercise of the functions of Public Administrations; when they refer to the parts of a contract of a business, labor or administrative relationship and are necessary for its maintenance or fulfillment; when the data processing is intended to protect a vital interest of the data subject… ”

In other words, within an informative field, using zoom and capturing close images is legal, always it is a newsworthy fact or of informative interest. However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as capturing images for commercial purposes, reproducing a person’s intimate life, or disclosing personal details. In this sense, once again, there could be legal problems.

A future problem?

We are sure that this will be a debate that, as we say, will begin to occur as the High-quality optical zoom lenses reach massively every pocket. Recall that some capabilities of current cameras have already been questioned. Recall the fleeting infrared function of the OnePlus camera, which the firm itself has removed from its mobile phones, precisely because of the possible “malicious” uses that could occur with this type of technology, capable of seeing through some plastics and fabrics and by Therefore, violate the privacy of users.

Written by David Girao

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