Cell phone apps that allow "peeping Toms" to secretly snap photos of unsuspecting targets are causing major headaches in Japan, and are bound to head to closer shores. The apps mute the sound of a photo click, and can also make it appear that the cell phone user is checking out an innocent email, rather than, say, grabbing an illicit photo up a skirt or around the corner into a dressing room, reports the Daily Mail. "We can't help but think these apps are designed specifically for taking sneaky photos," a police investigator tells the Mercury News.
Japanese academics are calling for regulations to prohibit silent snaps as complaints about the photos and invasions of privacy are skyrocketing. "There are limits to legally regulating smartphones whose settings can easily be changed," said one expert. "However, from a corporate ethics viewpoint, we shouldn't ignore the fact that they're being misused for crimes. "