Restricting camera access on mobile devices

All sorts of folks are calling for restrictions on camera phones. Some propose legislative remedies, while others just want the phones banned from their facilities.

“Wait a minute,” you ask. “Wouldn’t turning the camera off via a security policy be good enough?” Maybe, if there were such a thing. Some third-party security products (like Credant’s Mobile Guardian, SOTI MobiControl, and Trust Digital) allow policy control over camera access, either by blocking the camera application or disabling its driver. However, for company-issued devices, there’s a simple and permanent solution: mix a few drops of black paint and cyanoacrylate (“super glue”) together, then apply it to the camera lens. Problem solved! The glue bonds to the plastic lens in a way that’s extremely difficult to remove without rendering the lens unusable anyway. The paint blocks the lens. Simple, device-independent, and low-cost. Done and done. (Note: don’t try this on other people’s phones unless you’re spoiling for a fight.)


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