Illegal Filming

Illegal Filming

Behind the lens of malice

Illegal Filming


I was on my way home after having fun with my friends for the first time in a while. I went to the bathroom at the subway station before we parted. I was just pulling down my pants when I started to feel uneasy for some reason. I looked at the bathroom door, the ceiling, even in the trash can. Even while doing my business, the three or four small holes in the door kept catching my eye. The news article I saw last night came to mind. It was an article about a hidden camera found in the bathroom of a subway station. This is the world we live in.

Watching Eyes that Threaten our Way of Life

Not 'Spy Cameras' but 'Illegal Filming'

Before the seriously of illegal filming was recognized it was often referred to as ‘spy cams’ or ‘hidden cameras’. This term is often used in entertainment programs and events, pranks and playfulness between friends. It’s important to change the way we talk about illegal filming, to highlight the severity of this crimes impact of victims. Illegal filming is neither a joke nor a game. It’s a crime that especially threatens the daily lives of women around the world.

This issue is especially prevalent in South Korea, and in similar cultures where conservative views and modern technology have been rapidly combined. A conviction in Korea can lead to a maximum of 5years in prison or a ₩30,000,000 KRW fine (around $22,000 USD).

Present State of Illegal Filming Crimes

  • A steady increase in illegal filming

The number of people arrested for illegal filming and distribution In South Korea increased from 2,905 in 2014 to 5,497 in 2018.

  • Most illegal filming suspects are men in their 20’s

In 2018, around 96.6% of suspects were men.

By age, those in their 20’s were the highest percentage with 2,044 people, those in their 30’s totalled 1,241 people, and minors under 18 were the third highest with 885 people suspected.

  • Highest recidivism rate

While sex offenders in general record the highest likelihood of repeat offending, the crime of ‘illegal filming’ showed especially high rates, with 75% reoffending rates.

How to Find Hidden Camera Lenses

Is there anywhere safe from hidden cameras and illegal filming? If you search ‘illegal filming’ on the internet countless news articles will pour out. Toilets, streets, public transport, dorm rooms, hotels, motels, even in classrooms. Illegal filming is just about everywhere.

Hidden camera detectors are being sold for increasingly high prices to combat the increasingly sophisticated cameras available. Are there any alternatives to professionally manufactured detectors? Here are some methods introduced by an expert on illegal camera detection.

  • 🟥Using Red Cellophane

Cover a cell phone camera and flash with red cellophane. In that state, if you can manually turn on the flash and video camera you can use the light to pick up any small dots of reflection in hidden places.

As a color, red is reflected by camera lenses the most.

  • Using 🔦Flashlights and 🧻 a Toilet Paper Roll

Fix the toilet paper cardboard roll to the side of a small flashlight using a rubber band. Hold the pair up like glasses or binoculars, shining the light and looking through the roll to see any camera lenses reflecting the light.

The cardboard roll allows you to focus your vision on the light and better notice any reflecting lenses.

  • 📸 Using a Phone’s Flash

Similar in principle to the above methods, take a picture using flash of an area where you suspect there may be a hidden camera. If you zoom in and look carefully at the picture, you might be able to see a camera lens shining.

It may be more uncertain than other methods, but this can be used when you don’t have time to make any other preparations.

  • 📱 Using the WiFi Name

As technology has advanced, WiFi type ultra-small cameras are increasing. If you check the WiFi options on your phone and notice a service with a long, complicated name and strong signal, there is a high possibility that there is a WiFi camera around you.

Besides finding cameras, you can also try breaking any camera lenses that may be in holes drilled in walls or doors by pressing it with a clip or hairpin.

How to Request The Deletion of Illegally Filmed Videos

What should I do if I find illegal footage of myself or someone else? The deletion method or deletion request method differs depending on the channel through which the offending content was distributed.

  • Website: Request deletion directly to the site
  • Illegal pornography site: Depending on your country there may be a government branch like the Korea Communications Standards Commission, or a legal pathway such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the U.S. Contact the relevant institution or a lawyer for advice
  • SNS: Request deletion through the reporting window of the relevant SNS site
The Cyber Civil Rights Initiative provides a list of organisations around the world which can support victims of illegal filming, and provide guides and advice for image removal. The CCRI Image Abuse Helpline is available free of charge, 24/7 at 1-844-878-2275


  • Learn the various ways to find illegal hidden cameras
  • But remember, eradicating illegal filming is not the responsibility of individual victims, but a matter for society as a whole
불법 촬영은 00000000에 의해 5년 이하의 징역형 또는 3천만 원 이하의 벌금형이 내려진다.

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