Fri, Jun 07, 2002 - Page 2 News List

Hidden camera bill would penalize business owners

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Hotel and restaurant owners would be required to regularly search their premises for hidden cameras under a law proposed by PFP and DPP legislators yesterday.

"We must do something," the PFP's Li Yong-ping (李永萍) said at a press conference to promote the passage of the Unauthorized Filming Prevention Law (偷拍防制法).

"Hidden cameras are more and more advanced nowadays. You cannot imagine how small they can be and where they will be.

"Unfortunately, we don't have a law to protect innocent people who might become the main characters in videos shot by hidden camera."

The new law would require the owners of locations frequented by the public, such as restaurants, hotels and shops, to carry out regular security checks and search for hidden cameras seruptitiously mounted by voyeurs.

According to the new law, owners who fail to provide records of these security checks to the government could be fined from NT$60,000 to NT$300,000.

Li said that voyeurism was proliferating in Taiwan, especially following the sex-VCD scandal involving New Party politician Chu Mei-feng (璩美鳳).

Some voyeurs even sell videos of what they secretly shoot in public, she said.

Innocent men or women are increasingly becoming victims to the voyeurs, who shoot videos without their consent, violating their privacy and human rights, Li said.

Asked why the owners of places such as restaurants and hotels were the main "targets" of the new law, Li said that given the level of public activity at these establishments, they should be held responsible for protecting their customers' privacy.

"If they cooperate with law enforcement agencies, it will be a great help in protecting Taiwanese citizens' privacy and human rights," she said.

Hidden camera bill

* The new law would require the owners of locations frequented by the public, such as restaurants, hotels and shops, to carry out regular security checks and search for hidden cameras mounted by voyeurs.

* According to the new law, owners who fail to provide records of these security checks to the government could be fined from NT$60,000 to NT$300,000.


According to Pang Chien-kuo (龐建國), another PFP lawmaker, the Home and Nations Committee had been discussing the matter and trying to find a solution by amending the Architecture Law (建築法). This law could be used to require property owners to check their premises for hidden cameras when they apply for licenses or convert private dwellings into commercial property, Pang said.

"We finally decided to make a new law for this problem exclusively," said Pang. "We need a detailed regulation, which cannot be achieved by simply amending the Architecture Law."

He added that it was up to government and property-owners to provide customers with a safe environment.

The task force promoting the law also includes PFP lawmakers Chao Liang-yen (趙良燕), Chin Huei-chu (秦慧珠) and Chen Chin-hsin (陳進興); and DPP lawmakers Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津), Chou Ya-shu (周雅淑) and Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳).

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