Japanese girls loves their digital cameras; Photo - AP

The AP examines how the phenomenon of camera phones is causing Asian society more than a few headaches. With more and more people adopting to the technology, businesses worry about industrial espionage and digital shoplifting - taking pictures of magazine instead of buying them.

Personal violations are also a possibility: "Fears are rising about photos being surreptitiously taken in swimming pools and locker rooms. Cell phones have already been declared off-limits by Japanese public bath houses. Japan's camera phones are designed to set off an electronic ring when the shutter is pressed...but the alarm can be muffled by placing a hand or piece of cloth over the speakers, police say."

On the other hand, digital camera phones are aiding crime-fighting, as one 18 year-old girl in Yokohama, Japan took a photo of the 38-year-old man who was fondled her on a train. "She called police during the train ride and presented her phone shots as evidence. The man was arrested at the next stop."

Mizuko Ito, an expert on mobile phone culture at Keio University, tells the AP, "The problem with a new technology is that society has yet to come up with a common understanding about appropriate behavior. No matter what the technology, there'll always be people who don't mind their manners."

Word. Some of us here at Gothamist know that first hand.

[Via Gothamist reader Sidney - thanks]