Indiegogo allows upskirt photo gadget to remain on site

Despite complaints, a smartphone accessory pitched at taking surreptitious photos of women's bodies is still raising funds on Indiegogo.

Despite complaints, a smartphone accessory pitched at taking surreptitious photos of women's bodies is still raising funds on crowdfunding website Indiegogo.

(Credit: Indiegogo)

Upskirt and downblouse photos — taking photos of a woman's body up her skirt or down her shirt without her knowledge or consent — is illegal in Australia and New Zealand, can be prosecuted in the UK under the Sexual Offences Act, has just been made illegal in Massachusetts, US, and is in the process of becoming illegal in New Jersey.

In spite of this, a smartphone accessory marketing itself as suited to just such activities is currently seeking funding on Indiegogo. The Peek-I spy cam is a pop-up periscope that allows the user to take photos on a 90-degree angle. It's worth noting that similar products are already available to smartphone photo enthusiasts; the difference lies in the marketing.

"Thanks to Peek-I, you can take a picture from around a corner without being noticed," the product description reads. "You can also get great shots of weirdoes walking down the street right next to you, without them realising what you are doing. Want a picture of your secret crush? You can make that happen and your crush won't even think you are stalking him or her, because you will be looking in a different direction."

It also takes care to add the warning, "If you want to take sneaky pictures of people without them knowing, this is the way to do it. Just don't be creepy about it."

(Credit: Indiegogo)

This, however, is belied by the images of the device in action. Possible scenarios presented include taking a sneaky photo under a table of a girl's legs, or taking a photo down the blouse of a waiter — actions which, as noted, contravene the law in several locations around the globe.

According to Indiegogo's Terms of Use, campaigns to raise funds for illegal activities are strictly prohibited. In a statement to CNET Australia, Indiegogo states the campaign is "currently under review, which is part of Indiegogo's process any time the community voices concerns over a particular campaign."

The campaign, however, remains live and collecting funds on the crowdfunding website — currently at over US$9000 of its US$1000 goal — raising questions about Indiegogo's review process. Kickstarter, for example, states that it suspends a campaign when it violates the websites rules so that the company can investigate.

When pressed by CNET Australia for more information on its review process, Indiegogo was not forthcoming, replying only that "Indiegogo doesn't publicly disclose its process in order to protect its community of campaign owners and contributors."

 

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