The Smartphone and its offspring the Pad are the most popular electronic devices of this century. We all love these devices and there are many proofs of that. Smartphones and their accessories are hot items among traders, like stereos were in the 1970's, like PC's were in the 80's, like cell-phones were in the 90's.
We love these devices; they're always with us, not just in the same room, but usually in our pocket or our hands. Eye-to-screen contact takes place several times an hour, often less during working-hours, but all the more often before or after work or in the week-end. When the Smartphone gets a longer rest it's usually because we're sleeping and the Smartphone is charging. Nice device.
But what if ... if the camera ... or the microphone isn't really turned off when you expect them to be off?
What if your trusted Smartphone is transmitting all it sees and hears to some person or organization? It doesn't need constant network access to spy, you know, because it can record to memory and transmit its findings whenever possible. What if it can see and hear even after it's been turned off? You see, a device isn't really off until the power supply i.e. the battery has been disconnected, and that never happens. Even if you take out the main battery, there's always some other battery in action to keep at least the clock running. What if the microphone is always on and recording what it hears?
On the other hand, how interesting are we really as objects of spies? Not really interesting I think, and that hopefully goes for most of us. But then again some people are of considerable interest to a lot of people, and governments are interested in some. Celebrities fall into the first group and political opponents of governments into the second.
Considering the above, I think there may be a market for some kind of shields for privacy. They may come in the form of covers that shield the camera and the microphone. Night-boxes or charging-boxes for night-time privacy, which are sound-insulated and electro-magnetically shielded. Another form of shield would be one that feeds the camera and microphone with fake data.
I think Smartphone users don't have to worry quite yet. Looking further into the future though, I think privacy will become a severe issue that has to be dealt with.