Aussie woman's confronting warning to tourists heading to South Korea

The issue has been well publicised in the country for years but many tourists are unaware of the danger.

South Korea has been plagued by the use of hidden cameras, or 'spycams', to illegally record and prey on unsuspecting women for years, with the endemic widely reported by local media.

Despite the horrifying issue instigating protests, documentaries and court cases in the country, one Australian woman who lived in South Korea fears tourists are unaware of the threat, and she has released a TikTok video to warn people.

Left, Jazmyn Jennings can be seen talking to the camera in her car. Right, a spycams can be seen on the table inside a home.
Jazmyn Jennings, who lived and worked in South Korea, said foreigners are unaware of the threat that spycams pose. Source: Getty and TikTok/jazmynjenningss

"[It] is a huge problem in South Korea which is not discussed among foreigners," Jazmyn Jennings said. "If you go into any female bathroom you will find every single crevice plugged up with wet toilet paper," she continued, explaining this is a common tactic used by women to stop cameras being hidden in these spaces.

"This issue extends beyond toilets as well," she said. "We're talking Airbnb's, hotel rooms ... basically anywhere that is a private area you run the risk of being exposed."

The footage captured by hidden cameras is often broadcast online, with the offenders making the video available for men to purchase and view. The women featured in the videos are often completely oblivious they are being recorded.

'Ridiculously well disguised hidden cameras'

The illegal phenomenon has gained such momentum that deceitful everyday items, such as clocks and fire alarms, have been purpose-built for the function of recording women.

There have been a wide range of reports which uncover the creative ways women have been illegally spied on over the years, with both strangers and people known to the women guilty of the offence. One woman shared her employer had gifted her an expensive alarm clock, only realising months later that her boss had had an all-access live stream into her bedroom, the ABC reports.

A documentary, titled Open Shutters was created last year by journalist Jieun Choi, which investigates the real-life impact these privacy violations have on the women, with Jieun herself falling victim to surveillance from her neighbour.

Women can be seen on the streets of Seoul protesting against spycams, holding banners that say, 'My life is not your porn'.
Women on the streets of Seoul protesting against spycams. Source: Getty

More than 30,000 cases of filming with the use of hidden cameras between 2013 and 2018 were reported to authorities in South Korea, the BBC reports.

From school bathrooms to motel rooms and even in their own home, there is seemingly no space where women feel free from the potential surveillance these hidden camera enable. There are now products on the market capable of detecting hidden cameras, with Jazmyn recommending foreigners buy one if they plan to visit South Korea.

"They help you find the light in the room and it'll show you [the hidden camera]," she explained. "You can either report it, or you can take it away."

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