x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Who's smiling now?

You have no privacy, especially if you pose for the wrong kind of pictures.

He's probably not so cheerful today, the young man whose big grin was in the photo on page one of The National yesterday. He surely had good reason to smile then: holding an elastic-banded stack of British currency in each hand, he posed in front of a couple of dozen such bricks of various currencies.

But the man's bonanza was, Dubai police say, the fruit of a daring armed robbery of a currency exchange in Motor City. The photo bears, we believe, a message for even the most law-abiding among us: you really have no privacy any more.

As you would expect after a million-dirham armed robbery, police responded rapidly - and were laudably successful, it appears; two suspects, including the man in the photo, have been questioned.

Guilt and innocence are for the courts to decide; our point here concerns only prudence. Why was this photo taken? At what point in his life, we wonder, would this gentleman want to show this photo, and to whom? A bride to be? Grand-children? What's the point?

In the age of ubiquitous closed-circuit TV and countless camera phones, your image is likely to be preserved and distributed more widely than you may know. Of course the innocent, as detectives like to say in novels and movies, have nothing to fear.

So make sure you stay innocent. And whatever you're up to, smile.