The popularity of mobile phones with camera facilities has prompted warnings over the possibility of privacy invasion. The Italian privacy authority, Il Garante per la Protezione dei dati personali (www.garanteprivacy.it), says that cell phones must not be used to take film or photographs in polling booths, hospitals, restaurants or the gym without permission. Anyone who is filmed or photographed without having given prior consent can sue for damages. The images cannot be published in the media or on the internet as they constitute personal data and are therefore protected by privacy laws. Journalists are exempt from these rules and are not obliged to ask permission before taking photographs or film, though they must respect the existing privacy laws.

The privacy authority has also appealed to producers of video cell phones to adapt their products to include a warning light which comes on when the device is used to film or take photographs.