New law prohibits installation of spy cams in restrooms

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New law prohibits installation of spy cams in restrooms

The cabinet approved a bill Tuesday that calls for banning the installation of all filming or photographing devices in public bathhouses, restrooms and other places vulnerable to privacy violations.

The legislation, which the Ministry of the Interior and Safety plans to submit to the National Assembly for approval, is aimed at combating secretly filming people for sexual gratification and other purposes.

The bill is designed to close a legal loophole, as the current law bans secret filming only, not the installation of filming devices, officials said.

Under the proposed act, the installation of all such devices, including CCTV cameras, internet-connected cameras, smartphones and wearable cameras is banned at public bathhouses, dressing rooms, public restrooms and other places, officials said.

Violations will be punished with fines of up to 50 million won ($45,982). The legislation came as hidden camera crimes have become a growing social problem. According to the National Police Agency, the number of hidden camera crimes, which stood at 2,400 in 2012, rose to 6,623 in 2014 but declined to 5,185 last year.

President Moon Jae-in has also called for comprehensive measures to end such crimes.

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