One of the most unfortunate things about the tech-driven modern era we’re currently living in is that if someone wanted to record you in a private situation without your knowledge, there’s very little that is going to stop them. In a lot of situations, a powerful hidden camera can be purchased for less than a few hundred dollars and can be installed in nearly any environment in seconds. These cameras often have additional features like live streaming or Wi-Fi broadcasting that allow the owner to review the footage without having physical access to the camera at all.

Hidden CamerasWith that in mind, it’s no wonder why hidden cameras are being found in more seemingly-private locations every single day. Sadly, it’s also a problem that is only going to get worse over the next few years. This is particularly evident in Seoul, South Korea. Not only are hidden cameras a massive problem with more than 6,000 cases reported in the last year alone, but they’re being found in public restrooms so often that police and business owners are being forced to check every single day to protect their patrons.

Seoul’s Hidden Camera Problem: The Essentials

This particular problem actually made international attention after being featured in a report conducted by the BBC. Things got so bad that earlier in 2018, thousands of women took to the streets for a day of protest and to stand up for themselves. Carrying signs that said things like “My Life is Not Your Porn,” these women live in a constant state of fear, knowing that they could be photographed or recorded in the most intimate and personal of ways without their knowledge. Luckily, they’re also not taking things lying down.

One recent study revealed that approximately one out of every eight people who fall victim to this type of spy camera porn trap is, in fact, female. This is a problem that has grown so severe that it has essentially inspired its own genre of pornography, known locally as “molka.”

Recently, Seoul government officials established what amounts to a “hidden camera search squad.” These people, along with police officers, carefully inspect women’s bathrooms on a daily basis. They’ve even gone as far as investing in a wide range of high-tech equipment to assist with their task, like hand-held detectors that let them examine hard-to-reach places like air ducts or ventilation shafts.

The problem isn’t just limited to public restrooms, either. Public swimming pools, changing rooms and similar types of areas are all at risk. But for as helpful as this hidden camera search squad is, there is ultimately only so much they can do. If someone wants to attach a small hidden camera to their shoes that is pointed upward that will then be used to look up women’s skirts on the sidewalk, there’s nothing that the squad will be able to do to stop them. Likewise, sometimes these devices are so discreet that they’re nearly impossible to find unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. A hidden camera implanted inside a door handle, for example, is difficult to find even if you’re aware that something is wrong in an area.

Over the past few years, Seoul officials were only inspecting places like public restrooms for hidden cameras at a frequency of about once a month. As stated, that has now increased to every single day. That’s an excellent start, but there’s certainly still a long way to go.

It’s also important to keep in mind that this problem is not exclusive to South Korea. It’s an issue here in the United States, too, as is true with other countries around the world. You shouldn’t have to be this proactive about protecting your own privacy, but you absolutely do. Only by taking matters into your own hands will you be able to at least help make sure that your own private experiences — like going to the bathroom or changing your clothes — stay that way.