Selfie Sticks Could Lead To Jail Time In South Korea

Retailers are being threatened with prison if they sell unregistered versions of the controversial device.

While the great “pro- or anti-selfie stick” debate continues to rage on, South Korean lawmakers have upped the, erm, “anti” by threatening to jail selfie stick retailers.

The country's Science Ministry announced that retailers selling untested versions of the handheld monopods could face a fine of 30 million won ($27,000) or prison time of up to three years, Quartz reported.

The ministry has said selfie sticks with Bluetooth functionality should be classified as a frequency-emitting form of communication, and therefore subject to rounds of rigorous testing before sale.

Selfie sticks use Bluetooth technology to release smartphones' camera shutters remotely, rather than using a timer.

The South Korean government is concerned about the health implications of electromagnetic radiation. Although low levels are not considered harmful, South Korea's Wireless Telegraphy Act states that all devices that emit electromagnetic waves must be certified.

The government has asked for the public's help in "rooting out" retailers selling untested devices, and last week said it would begin checks on sellers.