Nearly seven out of ten citizens in Seoul have expressed the fear of being secretly filmed by hidden cameras in public, according to a recent study.
Seoul Metropolitan Government and Namu Counseling for Women’s Rights conducted a survey on 1,500 adults from Seoul last month, according to AllKPop.
Based on the results, 69% of the adult participants worry about being watched by hidden cameras installed in public places. When segregated by gender, the findings reveal 80% of women and 57 % of men felt insecure about being filmed by spy cameras.
In general, most men were worried about spycams at lodgings, while women were most anxious about public restrooms. About 43% overall said they were most concerned about hidden cameras in hotel or motel rooms, while 36% are scared of spy cams in public restrooms. According to 9% of the respondents, they fear hidden cameras in public baths or swimming pools.
This fear has led 61% of the respondents to check holes in bathroom stalls where cameras might be installed. Meanwhile, 44% said they avoid public restrooms altogether.
Hidden spy cameras have long been an issue in South Korea since tiny and easily-hidden cameras were made available on the market. The public has complained that offenders who record and share explicit images of their victims online get a relatively light punishment.
After the massive street rallies from thousands of women last year, Seoul’s city government has pledged a tougher crackdown against offenders.
Local governments previously conducted searches and inspections mainly on public restrooms and public transportation hubs such as bus terminals, subways, and train stations.
Under the revised Public Health Control Act, authorities can now search for hidden cameras installed in accommodations, bathhouses, and beauty parlors even without the business owners’ consent starting last week.
According to the city government, 110,000 hotel and motel rooms, and public bathhouses will be under inspection during the second half of the year. Owners of establishments found with hidden cameras could face suspension of operations or even closure.