South Korea spycam
Politics & Economy

SKorea fights spy cameras

South Korean women aren’t safe in public bathrooms—or their homes—because of spycam porn


Feminist Movement in South Korea is going even ahead of the #MeToo campaign, as women hold rallies against spycam porn throughout the country.

Tipped as the biggest female protests in South Korea’s history, the women are staging mass protests on the streets highlighting the menace of spycam pornography.

The women leading the protests say they are fed up with the daily dose of sexual harassment in public toilets.

Everywhere in South Korea – from lockers to door frames to toilet bowls to shower heads – spycams have been reported filming women.

The menace alerted the authorities to institute daily checks of 20,000 public restrooms to make sure they are free of spycams.

But the government’s move in a male-dominated society appear too small a gesture to combat a nationwide epidemic of voyeur pornography.

Women are thus coming out on streets demanding punishment for men who film the videos as those who watch them.


  • Spycam porn has become the central motivating force in a rising women rights’ movement nationwide.
  • Recording others without consent, then circulating the images as pornographic materials, is a widespread problem in South Korea.
  • Mobile phones aren’t the only tool; spy cameras, small enough to be hidden in everyday objects, are easy for anyone to buy, both on and offline.
  • By police estimates, there have been over 6,000 spycam cases each year between 2013 to 2017. But the actual number is probably much bigger.
  • This happens in every country, where people covertly install spy cameras in the hopes of catching girls in a state of undress, but it’s especially a problem in Korea.
  • South Korean Government is inspecting thousands of toilets for spycams, but women say not enough being done.

The protesters can be seen carrying placards reading – ‘My life is not your porn’, ‘If we burn, you burn’, ‘Don’t come to Korea, your daughter could be a porn star’, and ‘Don’t worry mother, your daughter is (a) soldier’.


Spycam pornography is secretly shot in places such as changing rooms, public toilets and motel rooms, then posted online, often on person-to-person content-sharing sites.

South Korea is world’s 11th largest economy and boasts of global manufacturing brands, but it ranks deep low when it comes to gender gap, as per the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2017.

The country has the distinction of being one of the most wired countries on the planet as there are more active smartphones then citizens in South Korea.

Locals believe this is a problem of advanced technology. Culture and the law and police not being able to catch up with it, it is not just an issue of pornography.

“What is puzzling is the apparently intensely powerful lure of spycam pornography, and its extraordinary spread,” feels Seo Seung-hee, director of Cyber Lion, which monitors spy camera cases and assists victims.

According to Seo, the spycam industry is $100 million dollar strong. No wonder some 40,000 to 200,000 files are shared of women that are secretly recorded, and you guessed right – they are headlined ‘Korean pornography’.

South Korean women are also upset with a court decision to acquit a powerful politician of sexual assault, and some of them are already accusing the judiciary of complicity in the gender-based violence that has prevailed in the country for too long. 

South Korea spycam
This playful poster made by South Korean police for its online campaign to help curb spycam porn crimes seems to sum up how the police view the widespread crimes causing fear and anxiety among women.
  • South Korean women are petitioning their president demanding that police speed up their investigation of spycam crimes.
  • Women in South Korea are turning to protect themselves.
  • Many women inspect public bathrooms for hidden cameras when they use them.
  • As hidden cameras become ever more sophisticated and minuscule, women are using emergency kits to scan door bolts, glasses, shoes, and other items. 
  • The kit contains a mask, a screwdriver, silicon gel, and stickers.
  • The mask protects the woman’s identity, the screwdriver is used to break cameras hidden inside screws, while the silicon gel can block the holes. 

Rights group activists feel for these women. One of them said, “It’s awesome they are fighting back and hopefully something positive comes of it. How bad it is to not be able to relieve one’s self in peace? Let them be.”

Another said – “They can’t tape the entire wall in a public bathroom unfortunately. How gross is it that we aren’t given enough respect as human beings, that we end up on display in our most private moments! This needs to be considered a serious crime.”

Media platforms like reddit have full box comments in support of the South Korean uprising which is against the daily scrutiny, surveillance, demeaning and harassment of women as men steal women privacy via hidden cameras en masse.

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