A programmable digital camera requiring a programming password to be entered to access the camera's programmability. The camera further includes programming so as to allow the camera to be operated only for a specified time interval, after which the camera becomes inoperable until the programming password is again entered and the camera is programmed to operate for another interval of time. An alternate embodiment of the invention includes a programmable digital camera as above described wherein the camera is programmed to only capture a set number of images, at which point the programming password must again be entered and the camera reset for another quantity of images. A further alternate embodiment includes a camera system with a separate transmitter for radiating a signal designed to cover a designated area, the signal being modulated with a camera operational code. The camera is equipped with a corresponding receiver and demodulator to receive the operational code. The camera is programmed to check for the operational code periodically, and if the code is not received, the camera automatically shuts down, thereby limiting operation of the camera to the designated area. A still further embodiment includes a camera with a built-in apparatus for acquiring measured biometric data of a potential user, and comparing it with corresponding biometric signature data entered in the camera, and allowing camera operation only if there is a match.