The South Korean government is set to ban filming and taking pictures in public bathhouses, dressing rooms and restrooms to prevent the so-called hidden camera crimes, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday.
The legislation to protect private image information was approved at the cabinet meeting, according to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety.
It will be submitted to the National Assembly for approval.
Under the proposed legislation, the installation of any type of filming and photographing devices in public bathhouses, public restrooms, dressing rooms and other places vulnerable to privacy violations will be prohibited.
The banned devices involved fixed ones such as CCTV cameras and Internet-connected cameras as well as portable ones including digital cameras, smartphones and wearable devices.
Those violating the law will be punished with fine of up to 50 million won (46,000 U.S. dollars).
Under the previous act, the installation of fixed devices and their filming were banned, but the new legislation will also prohibit the installation of and the filming by portable devices.
For business and security purposes, the installation will be allowed, but it should be made known to people.
The new legislation was aimed at preventing the hidden camera crimes, which secretly film and photograph women for sexual gratification and other purposes.
According to the National Police Agency, the number of hidden camera crimes continued to rise from 2,400 in 2012 to 6,623 in 2014, before falling to 5,185 in 2016.