Spy Cams In South Korea: My Life is Not Your Porn

A recent crisis that has blown up in not only South Korean, but international news, is the spy cam epidemic. South Korea is commonly referred to or viewed by the average foreigner as one of the most technologically advanced societies in the world, 93% of their population has access to the internet, 90% own at least one smartphone. However, technology can advance both reprehensible and fantastical projects. One such object is the camera, which South Koreans have successfully turned into an almost invisible, small black square. The spy-cam crisis fits into a certain set of rules: Every year, more than 6,000 incidents are reported to the police, of which 80% are women.

This practice- of setting up small, imperceptible cameras in public spaces such as restrooms and changing rooms and uploading these videos to voyeur porn websites- not only highlights the epitome of a profound invasion of privacy but also shines a light on a few, extremely troubling, aspects of South Koreans and their culture. "My Life is Not Your Porn", one of the main activist groups against this terrible crime, has encouraged and inspired many women to come out with their stories and explain why they felt like they needed to remain silent. A young woman who refused to reveal her identity in national television said: "When I first saw the chat room, I was so shocked, my mind went blank and I started crying," She said. "I kept thinking, what would other people think? Will the police officer think that my clothes were too revealing? That I look cheap? In the police station, I felt lonely. I felt all the men were looking at me as if I was a piece of meat or a sexual object. I felt frightened. I didn't tell anyone. I was afraid of being blamed. I was afraid my family, friends and people around me would look at me as these men looked at me." How can a woman who has been filmed against her will while in a vulnerable position and been exposed online be worried about what her family will think of her? A sexist, misogynistic culture is the only one in which such thoughts could cross this woman's mind after suffering such an enormous breach of privacy.

Under current laws and regulations, "spy cam" buyers are not required to disclose any personal information, making it difficult to trace the cameras back to their owners. However, many "lawmakers are hoping to change that, co-sponsoring a bill in August that requires hidden camera buyers to register with a government database, raising alarm among retailers." In order for such a crime to not only be banned but denormalized, South Korea and it people must go through a major ideological change. The amount of cameras the police apprehend is meaningless if victims continue feeling like they are at fault for these illegal recordings.