Who Can Help Us?

윤정애l승인2017.05.10l수정2017.05.14 10:42l354호 1면

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▲ Types of hidden camera.

 Do you ever worry about your personal information flowing around the internet without your consent? Nowadays, the hidden camera has led to unsanctioned videos, starring unsuspecting victims, being posted on the worldwide web. Just think about it for a minute; strangers could be watching you, without you ever knowing. It’s enough to make your skin crawl. Taking videos using a hidden camera is an undeniable crime and must be stopped.

 There are over 200 video-sharing websites in Korea. One site in particular, shares videos of unsuspecting women taken and posted anonymously. Sometimes their personal information is leaked on the internet as well. These days it is not uncommon to hear stories of privacy rights being infringed upon through the internet. Over the last 5 years, 18,000 complaints regarding unsolicited posts of images or videos taken by hidden cameras were reported to the Korea Communications Commission. However, these are only the number of posts reported.  The actual number is estimated to be far greater. Once these unsolicited videos or photos are posted, they spread quickly and victims suffer irreparable harm.

 So why are there so many people using hidden cameras for pictures or videos in Korea? The first reason is that there are no sales restrictions on the product or management of its buyers. In Korea, many sites sell hidden cameras and whoever wants one, can simply buy one. In Russia, the sales of miniature cameras are limited and in other countries, only people licensed to use one can buy one.

 Second, penalties associated with illegal posts are minimal and there is no way we can protect victims from data spillage. For instance, posting a sex video without the agreement of the people in it warrants a lower penalty in Korea than it does in other countries. Furthermore, victims are often forced to pay substantial fees to remove any data spills leaked into the wider internet. It costs about 3 million won per month to hire experts in tracking and removing data spills. However, there is no guarantee that more pictures or videos won’t be uploaded again in the future. As a result, many victims reluctantly concede defeat and accept the spillage of personal information flowing around the internet. This reality has led many to delete their personal information from the worldwide web.

 So what can we do to help put an end to this dangerous trend? We need to make an effort to change people’s perceptions of the hidden camera and stiffen penalties making it a serious crime to post personal information without the express consent of the individual. This will require tough new legislation and as seen in other countries, Korea should also develop a policy to regulate the sale of hidden cameras. Their purchase should be restricted to professionals, and the buyers should be regulated by the nation. Furthermore, possession of a hidden camera by anyone not lawfully designated to own one should be illegal, with greater fines associated.

 Victimization will never end without a serious community and government effort to bring about change.  Without it, people will continue to suffer harm from the unlawful use of hidden cameras and spillage onto the greater worldwide web. Only strong laws can protect unsuspecting victims


윤정애  dankookherald@gmail.com
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