Selfie sticks meet big fines and jail sentence in South Korea
Sellers beware! South Korea is cracking down on uncertified selfie sticks, and the sellers may be fined 30 million won (or US$27,000) or up to three years in prison. Is the new law meant to protect the buyers or to curb the popular use of selfie sticks?
South Koreans and many Asians have embraced the hot trend of using selfie sticks. With a retractable stick and a cell-phone mounted on the stick or monopod, a user can take a selfie from three feet a way. It's particularly helpful in taking a group photo. It's become a common sight to see people wielding these sticks especially in crowded tourist spots.
It's not clear whether South Korea's ban of uncertified self sticks is motivated by an effort to curb the usage or to protect the consumers. Tokyo Disneyland already has a policy against selfie sticks, tripods, and other items that may be intrusive upon other visitors.
According to the South Korean science ministry, the sticks that are Bluetooth-enabled to facilitate taking photos with a smartphone are considered communication devices. Because they use wireless waves, they must be tested and certified to ensure they do not disrupt other devices using the same radio frequency.