Don’t worry, South Korea is not turning into a dictatorial, fun-hating country that punishes people for taking selfies (although, sometimes, we think they really do need punishment yes?). There is a perfectly reasonable (well, sort of) explanation as to why they are cracking down on those selfie sticks and it’s not because they’re annoying. What the government wants to do is to have them registered, if they have Bluetooth connectivity.
The truth is, this is just a technicality that is based on an existing law. Any device that is Bluetooth capable is labeled as a communication device and therefore should be certified before selling to the public. So those selfie sticks that are just sticks to help you take better self or group self-portraits but just uses your arm and the camera’s timer, they’re safe from regulation.
But for those sticks or monopods that can be paired with a smartphone and has a button that can trigger the camera shutter, those are the ones that have to be registered.But the ruling applies only to those who are selling the selfie stick. According to the Science Ministry, those who are caught selling unregistered selfie sticks can face up to 3 months in jail or pay a fine of $27,000.
But of course, this ruling is just a technicality, since the selfie sticks would not emit wireless signals that can interfere with other more important frequencies. “It’s not going to affect anything in any meaningful way, but it is nonetheless a telecommunication device subject to regulation,” a ministry official said.