Live streaming is huge business in East Asia and gaining traction in South Asian countries like Vietnam, Indonesia and India but like all new platforms, there is a dark side to this world.
Seoul Police announced that they have arrested 4 people in a case involving live streaming inappropriate video footage from motel rooms of around 1600 unaware guests.
The video feeds were sourced from wireless internet protocol cameras installed in 42 rooms in 30 motels spread across 10 cities. The sheer scale comes to the fore when you realise the motels were located in Chingcheong and Gyeongsang provinces for around 5 months starting in late 2018.
We have a history of Chinese Government clamping down on inharmonious/sexually suggestive content live streamed by users with Korea and Japan are important markets for live streamed content which can be seen as questionable by western standards. But this is usually with the express permission of those who are being filmed and streamed.
As per Korean law, there is a penalty of 30 million won or around $26.5k and 5 years of jail time. Distributing porn is also illegal with a 10 million won or around $9k fine and a jail time upto a year.
Content involving blatant violation of privacy of unaware hotel guests, users of public toilets, public baths, swimming pools and beaches, hostel rooms etc is selling like hot cakes and has a significant market size.
Reported by The Korean Herald, a website was set-up by the accused where the content was made available through monthly subscription models. With over 4000 paid users, the website had managed to pull a turn over of over $6,000.
Authorities discovered the hidden cameras inside TV boxes, wall outlets and hair dryer stands in 42 hotel rooms, the National Police Agency said in a statement obtained by CNN. The mini-recording devices, which filmed approximately 1,600 guests, had been installed in 30 hotels throughout 10 South Korean cities.
There are some ways to avoid this such as manually checking the room when you check-in, switch off the lights to check any lights which should not be there along with the mirror if its not two way. There are also detectors which can help you spot such tiny cameras. The best way seems to be to chose reputable establishments only and always be careful.