Lawmakers have given first-round approval to a measure that would ban those new cellphones with cameras in them from locker rooms and restrooms. The bill’s sponsor, state representative Kevin McCarthy, says it won’t affect many people. He says not many adults have them, and you can still use a normal cellphone, but if you’ve spent the extra money to get one with a hidden camera, you have to leave it in your gymbag if you’re in an area where people are nude. McCarthy’s a lawyer and says he wrote the bill after a constituent complained of people using the cam-phones inappropriately. McCarthy admits even if your picture was snapped you’d probably never know it. If someone asks “isn’t there a law” to prohibit photos in a gym or restroom, he points out right now the answer is no, and he thinks there should be a law. The bill forbids even simply talking on one of the new phones unless you leave the locker room. But a fellow lawmaker, Wayne Ford of Des Moines, says he can foresee unintended consequences. A lot of bills start with good intentions, he says, and he doesn’t want anyone surreptitiously snapping pictures, but banning phones in the shower room could prevent someone making an emergency call and he finds it confusing. Ford says “big brother and big sister” will soon be telling us all what to do. The bill’s sponsor says it does contain exceptions for emergencies and law enforcement.
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