Sun, Mar 09, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Ma Ying-jeou launches anti-spy camera drive

CRACKDOWN The Taipei City mayor vowed to stamp out illegal use of hidden cameras following a recent upsurge in unauthorized shooting

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday launched an anti-hidden camera campaign, highlighting different models of the tiny spy equipment, as well as possible locations where they could be concealed.

"We need to let people know that shooting any footage on hidden cameras without the permission of the subject is illegal and an invasion of privacy," Ma said. "It is our goal to get rid of unauthorized footage taken by hidden cameras in the city."

Ma made the remarks at a demonstration in front of Taipei's Sogo Department store yesterday afternoon. During the demonstration, city police provided all kinds of hidden cameras and invited hidden camera dealers to show people how to avoid being shot by equipment being used illegally.

"You can put a hidden camera almost anywhere you want," said Lee Hao-lun (李浩綸), a hidden camera dealer. "There are portable hidden cameras, too."

Pointing to the center of his spectacles, he added, "You did not notice that there is a camera on my glasses, did you?"

According to Lee, hidden cameras can be installed inside a phone jack, an air conditioner or a suitcase. The only way to avoid them is to be careful with all kinds of "holes" around you as there might be a hidden camera inside.

Ma said that city government officials started uncovering an average of one hidden camera a month since last September. Cameras were found in public locations such as department stores, movie theaters, parks and hotels.

However, he added that portable hidden cameras are his main concern because they are more difficult to detect.

"I can assure you that we will try our best to decrease the total amount of hidden cameras installed in public places. However, we should still be careful with portable ones, since there is no adequate solution to them," he said.

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