The Caribbean Bay shower room spycam suspect was arrested on Aug. 25, about one week after the video clip she shot went viral online here in South Korea.
I took a slightly different approach when I first blogged about it by looking at the technology the woman used to pull off her crime, as this story had already been reported ad nauseam.
Now, this will be the second and last time I post anything about it, but I need to to update my initial speculation as to the kind of technology she employed because a lot of new information was uncovered.
South Korea’s ever intrepid netizens posted captured screen shots like this one all over the interweb. Based on the news at the time and that photo, I had speculated on what kind of spycam tech the woman may have employed.
But first, before I go ino that in the interest of a little background, it should be noted (as I posted last week), the screen shot here is the result of the spycam shooter inadvertently capturing herself in a mirror while she was surreptitiously sneaking vids of naked women in the shower room at this super popular South Korean water park, Caribbean Bay.
Based on the netizen-distributed screen shot, I had speculated that she may have used a simple periscope iPhone case, such as COVR Photo (pictured here below). It simply uses miniature periscope tech to redirect the smartphone’s camera. It is also designed to look like a simple iPhone case. The idea being if you snap pics or record vids like this you will capture more naturalistic moments. The price company sells them off their web site run from $55 to $69.99.
I emailed the company to ask them what they thought and got this response:
“COVR Photo is a family-run business with the goal of capturing life’s most special moments in a simpler way without the intrusion of technology. As the industry leader in smartphone lens-case technology, we make it our responsibility to set an example for how current and future companies like ours should brand, market, and conduct themselves,” said Thomas Hurst, Founder & President – COVR Photo in an email to me on this topic.
I noted in the email to him that spycam tech is really common, the device could be any number of similar technologies, but that his product does some what resemble the device in the screen shot. To that point, Thomas Hurst said this:
“As you said yourself, the technology is common. As a leader in smartphone lens-case accessories, COVR Photo is committed to doing everything we can to ensure that our patented COVR Photo cases are being sold in the market we’ve invented it for.”
“That said, as with any company who is on the forefront of technological advancement, how people choose to use that technology is based on their own morality. There will always be people who choose to misuse technology for the worst possible outcome. Unfortunately, situations such as the water park video in South Korea have been happening long before the advent of smartphone cameras or camera-lens cases.”
Sure. Technology is to some extent “value neutral.” But in the case of spycam tech, I would maintain that the vast majority of people are not mindful of how easily their privacy can be compromised.
Back to the tech. Based on statements reported in the Korean press, the hidden cam shooter appears to have used spycam tech similar to, but not necessarily the very same, as the one pictured below, a DVR 225 by KJB Security Products, Inc. Another company making a similar device, the ICM-12, by Taiwan-based Clever Intelliegence Unity, Inc. This device below looks similar to both brands.
So, based on those reports since her arrest, as I said I need to update my speculation. After she was caught she was quoted telling police that she used a “miniature spycam video recorder from Taiwan,” one that is made to look like an iPhone battery charging case, anyways that according to Korean press reports.
Based on her statement — again, as reported in the Korean press — I think the spycam tech she used was probably something like this one, a miniature camera made to look like a battery charging case.
After the suspect’s face was revealed like it was in the mirror of the shower room at Caribbean Bay, the police were able to start a simple identity search. But apparently they could not cross-reference that vid clip of her face with CCTV at Caribbean Bay entrances and other locations because — and again, as quoted from Korean press reports — all of the security footage from Caribbean Bay had already been deleted.
The suspect, identified as Choi (27 or 28 years old) was arrested on Aug. 25 at 9:00am at her residence, after a domestic violence call was made by Choi against her father. The father apparently assaulted her as a result of discovering she borrowed money from relatives and about 900,000 to 1 million won for three separate videos she shot at three water park locations including the Caribbean Bay video.
She told police she got the camera from an unidentified man that she had met in an online chat site. She gave the camera back to him and also sold him the videos.
Police in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province south of Seoul booked Choi and charged her with sexual assault using a hidden camera. The crime carries up to five years in prison and/or a maximum fine of W10 million ($9,000).
South Korean police on Aug. 27 also arrested a man in connection to the crime surnamed Kang and aged 33.