Upskirt pics in focus for law changes

Local | Wallis Wang 9 Jul 2020

A three-month public consultation was launched yesterday on newly proposed offenses, including voyeurism, intimate prying and non-consensual photography of intimate parts, such as upskirt photos.

The security bureau had earlier suggested criminalizing acts of observing or recording intimate acts for sexual purposes without authorization.

It also proposed to outlaw taking intimate photos or videos, such as upskirt photos, without the consent of those who were filmed and the distribution of such images.

However, the proposed offense did not cover "down-blousing" - taking pictures of collars - as it believed the definition of the act was not clear and it may cover a wide range of scenarios, including taking a selfie.

According to its consultation paper to the public, offenders who commit acts of voyeurism or non-consensual photography of intimate parts for sexual purposes could be jailed for up to five years.

It said the police had received complaints that nude photos were distributed by former partners from time to time.

Therefore, the proposal has also included non-consensual distribution of intimate images which the victim had agreed to take to further protect them.

There is currently no specific law against these sexual offenses here. Such acts can only be prosecuted with other charges, such as loitering or disorder in public places.

Between 2015 and 2018, more than 70 percent of convictions for "access to computers with criminal or dishonest intent" were related to upskirt photography using mobile phones in both public and private places, as well as the uploading of intimate images without consent.

But the law does not cover those who use their own computers only.

All these newly proposed offenses would be included in the specified list of Sexual Offences under the Sexual Conviction Record Check Scheme.

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