Seoul to check public toilets daily for hidden cameras

A member of Seoul's hidden camera hunting squad, and a police women, inspect a bathroom for spy cameras
Image captionThere are teams dedicated to searching public toilets for hidden cameras

The South Korean capital, Seoul, has pledged to carry out daily checks in all public toilets for hidden cameras.

Secret cameras in toilets and changing rooms are a serious problem in South Korea – with more than 6,000 cases of “spy cam porn” reported last year.

The videos are often uploaded online without the knowledge of the victims.

Earlier this year, tens of thousands of women protested against hidden cameras, carrying signs with messages like “my life is not your porn”.

Activists say women live in constant fear of being photographed or filmed without their knowledge.

About 80% of the victims of spy camera porn are women.

South Korean women protest against sexism and hidden camera pornography, holding signs reading "my life is not your porn", 4 August 2018
Image captionThere have been several protests against spy camera porn this year

Seoul’s public toilets are currently only inspected for hidden cameras about once a month, Yonhap news agency reports.

However, staff who maintain restrooms will now also be required to check public toilets for spy cameras daily.

Law enforcement officials have previously told the BBC that it is difficult to catch perpetrators – especially as they can install cameras, and take them down again within 15 minutes.

While more than 5,400 people were arrested for spy camera related crimes last year, fewer than 2% of those held were jailed.

Yonhap says that the 50 government employees tasked specifically with finding hidden cameras have not discovered any for two years.

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