back to article Apple Store staircase flagged as Peeping Tom black spot

Apple’s flagship store in Hong Kong has been placed on a black list by the region’s biggest political party after fears were raised that its trademark glass staircase could provide Peeping Toms with a perfect vantage point for some sneaky up-skirt viewing. The Women’s Affairs Committee of the Democratic Alliance for the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not just women that need to watch out

    I was walking up the staircase in the an Apple store the other day, only for a woman on the floor below to point at me and cry in a shocked tone "That man has three legs!"

    1. Silverburn

      Re: Not just women that need to watch out

      Methink the "get the coat icon" would be more appropriate for that howler...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "get the coat icon"

        ... but Anonymous Cowherds cannot choose their icon.

    2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Not just women that need to watch out

      Maybe AC 06:42 has very short legs?

      Just an idea

      Where's Paris when you need her expertise?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not just women that need to watch out

      Don't be mean, I can't help looking like this:

      What were you all thinking?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not just women that need to watch out

      Not true.

      It's well documented that fanbois have no knob.

  2. xyz


    Had I known that Apple provided such vistas (no pun intended) I may have perused their products in more detail and have taken a different attitude to the company and its founder.

    Where's me turtle neck and the nearest staircase?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iPerv

      Finally a use for FaceTime and a carefully angled iPad on the display stand under the stairs.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So the staircase COULD be a blackspot, just like the Olympics (and the Euros, and ... ) COULD cause an enormous influx of prostitutes. Hm. Come back if there's actual facts, not hypotheses.

    1. Andy ORourke

      Do you mean.......

      "Pictures or it did not happen"??

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I will contact Apple forthwith and offer them my services to find out exactly what risk this poses. A 6 month contract should cover it, where I accumulate as much evidence as possible as to whether or not they should spend money enhancing the staircases, to prevent such filthy covert activities. I here by promise not to sell any of my evidence on to

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Consultancy...

      ..and the result of this 6 months of "service" you will provide?

      They're using the stairs the wrong way :-)

  5. Mystic Megabyte

    Is that where you go to cop an iBall?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Fatman

        RE: Maybe an iFull?

        You and I seem to think alike.

        On my hard drive is a folder labeled: iCandy, and you can bet it does not contain sweets that a child would eat.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Central Library footbridge, Kowloon Bay MTR, Festival Walk and the escalators at the airport?

    All right, I'll be sure to… er… worry about it when I'm there!

    (Nice of them to compile a list!)

  7. thomas k.
    Thumb Down

    Could you put ...

    ... one in Scotland, please?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Could you put ...

      Would that be wise, given the increased likelihood of guys wearing kilts and going 'commando'?

      1. TraceyC
        Thumb Up

        Re: Could you put ...

        Kilts are exactly why this is needed. You dudes aren't the only ones who enjoy a good upskirt.

        1. Gareth Gouldstone

          Re: Could you put ...

          And some dudes enjoy other dudes in kilts!

        2. John Bailey

          Re: Could you put ...

          Brigs to mind the old saying.. Be careful what you ask for..

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Could you put ...

      IIRC, you had one - not an Apple Store, but a University's new library featuring a glass floor. However, the architect had been touchingly naive in thinking that it wouldn't get scratched by people's shoes.

    3. oddie

      Re: Could you put ...

      You mean glass stairs like the one in the Glasgow Apple Store?

      Or were you thinking of something else? :S

  8. ukgnome

    Damn and blast the local store is on just one level.....erm I mean, glass staircase sounds cool. And I would love to see one from a purely architectural point of upskirt view ...oops!

  9. Mephistro

    Don't worry

    The places you listed are CCP Officially Sanctioned Peeping Spots, and therefore totally legal and safe. Here is the official statement by the CCP, translated by Google:

    "To give the peoples of the People's Republic of China free visual access to the Shining Peaches of Prosperity and the Glorious holes of Eternal But Time Limited Happiness the All Seeing Shining Allegedly Communist Party of the People's Republic of China provides the people of the People's Republic of China with this Sanctioned Glorious Peeping Holes of Happiness, to give happiness to the People and curb illegally accessing of dirty and ugly porn Internet sites by the Peoples of the People's Republic of China. Party Membership Card required for taking pictures. Scottish men in traditional costumes can not enter this areas under death penalty or worse."

  10. Alister


    The Women’s Affairs Committee of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB).


    So you can make an acronym from any three words in the title, despite it not making sense?

    How about

    The International Committee for the Licensing of Information Technology Protocols and Standards (CLIT)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WTF?

      DAB- Democratic Alliance for [the] Betterment [of Hong Kong]

      The were two compound nouns in that sentence, DAB is only one. Seems no worse than any other acronym.

      1. mark 63 Silver badge

        Re: WTF?

        yeah but WACDAB sounds kool!

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: WTF?

      CLIT was already taken by the Computer Literacy and Information Technology course...until someone thought they had better add in the lower case "a" from "and", making it CLaIT.

    3. xyz

      Re: WTF?

      The best one I ever saw (and this is from the dark ages) was machines all named starting with the initials for Computer Unit and then the OS of the servers, which at the time happened to be NT for quite a lot of them. And the best bit was no one seemed to notice (or were having a laugh).

    4. LateNightLarry
      Paris Hilton

      Re: WTF?

      How about a transit service called South Lake Union Transit... S.L.U.T.

      And the company actually had signs made up advertising that name...

      Paris, coz, well, she is A South Lake...

      1. Fatman

        Re: signs made up advertising that name...

        IIRC, some tw@t had T-shirts emblazoned with:

        Ride The S L U T

        for sale as the trolley first started operation.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I need to see the evidence first

  12. Dave 126 Silver badge

    reminds me of Samantha from I'm Sorry I haven't a Clue...

    Samantha has been helped by some archivists to compile a report on sexism and chauvinism in the work place. The archivists wanted no payment for their services, it was reward enough for them to see her crack up through the glass ceiling.

  13. Wize

    "Although the steps themselves are opaque, it is still possible to cop an eyeful from below through the gaps between the steps ... err, apparently."

    So, its not about the staircase being made of glass. A wooden or metal one would have the same problems.

    1. Mark 65

      Sounds more like it's a short skirt, or greyhound*, problem.

      * Greyhound - from VIZ, "only 1 inch from the hare/hair"

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Why is it always the other people's problem?

    Now; before I continue I am /not/ trying to justify people who desperately try to look up (short) skirts or kilts.

    But I do think its a bit far stretched to fully put the blame on stores (or environments) which have simply been build in a specific way. Because you know; you can also turn this around...

    If you wear clothes which could make people look (more) at you then best prepare yourself that people are going to look at you. If you then decide to walk on places where people might get a certain specific view, then who's "fault" (if any) is that? The people who decided themselves to dress in a somewhat specific manner or the people who build such structures?

    Would Apple force their female employee's to wear mini skirts and then have them walk up and down such a semi-transparent staircase then I think you have more than enough ground to file a list of complaints. But as long as that didn't happen I don't see the problem here.

    1. Captain Save-a-ho

      Re: Why is it always the other people's problem?

      Same for women that wear low-cut tops, but complain because they don't like men looking at them. Are women really so unaware of the effect they have on men? Surely not, I would think.

      1. perlcat

        Re: Why is it always the other people's problem?

        Of course they're aware of it. This is a secondary method of milking all the attention they can get out of their outfit. In reality, what they're saying is: "Just in case you missed it, BOOBS HERE FOR THE VIEWING! FREE!" -- and the squawking afterwards is just to make us guys feel more like filthy pirates. I consider the sensation of feeling like a filthy pirate a significant plus, meself. Arrr. Sexy clothes are an advertisement. If they cannot understand that more than they themselves are viewing the advertisement, then they've set themselves up for a lot of disappointment.

        Streisand effect IRL.

        Too bad that most of the ones complaining have absolutely nothing other than that to recommend themselves.

    2. John Bailey

      Re: Why is it always the other people's problem?

      Absolutely.. And she was asking for it in that low cut top and short skirt your honour. Right4.

      A new level of iApologist has been discovered.

  15. EddieD

    Happens a lot.

    A glass lift in Debenhams here was deactivated because of similar complaints, and the Acropolis Museum in Athens has a series of glass floors over the central stair cases...

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Happens a lot.

      Though you'd have to be pretty desperate to be a peeping tom here:

  16. Jason Bloomberg

    This old chestnut

    The same issue arose at the university I attended where an informal gathering area evolved beneath a gapped steel staircase. It was absolutely impossible to "see up skirts" as a simple understanding of 'line of sight' physics would demonstrate but that did not prevent serious accusations levelled against those using the area.

    When challenged to put it to the proof, that was rejected in favour of shutting down the area and threatening repercussions against those who had used it. The worst part of it was that no one - making the accusations or involved in resolving the issue - was prepared to come and see the situation from the other perspective, had no interest in assessing the innocence of those accused, and so easily labelled them as perverts, which ironically included a number of female students.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This old chestnut

      While I agree with you, I have to say that the laws of physics are often suspended in court.

      A friend of mine was involved in a car accident. The damage to the cars involved followed his version of events and physically impossible from the other drivers statement. However, as the other driver had a witness (a friend in their passenger seat) it went against my friend.

      All it would take is one person to say they could see through the gaps in those stairs, for the whole physical proof thing to fall down in court.

  17. NogginTheNog


    Is it too much to suggest to anyone (male or female) that if you wear revealing clothes then you may at certain times flash more of your body and/or underwear at others than perhaps you intended?* Or did you intend it?

    * See also low cut trousers/whale tail/bum crack.

  18. No, I will not fix your computer
    Big Brother

    Just Sayin'

    China (Hong Hong) has a huge issue with voyers and sexual assault in public places, more so in crowded, busy places such as trains and shops, so I do think this is potentially a serious topic for discussion, it's a little disappointing to see so many people say variations on "dress like that what do you expect", and I don't think the way that DAB are going about it is the best way, but if China is going to address this escallating problem rather than just victim blame, then anything that raises the profile has got to be a good thing.

    1. perlcat

      Re: Just Sayin'

      I would never blame a woman for instigating an assault on her person -- but I have to wonder about the sanity of a woman that advertises "the goods" and then has problems dealing with a predictable aftermath. There's plenty of stylish, beautiful clothes out there a woman can wear that don't contribute to the issue.

      In all fairness, to me it's risk-taking behavior like walking down dark alleys, counting cash. Yes, you have a perfect right to pass unmolested -- enforceable and everything. It still won't stop you from getting mugged eventually. Who would then tell a person that does this: "go ahead, you can go back to walking around the alleys again counting your cash once you get out of the hospital."

      Maybe in a perfect world, women can walk around, genitalia exposed to the four winds, and pass unmolested other than the occasional sunburn on the taint. However, it is *not* a perfect world, and pretending it is so will never make it so. The acceptable amount of clothing women wear is cultural -- more in some psycho areas, less in others. Changing that norm is pushing a known boundary -- and if boundaries get pushed, they are being pushed because the wearers *like* the reaction. They cannot claim they are perceptive enough to be aware of increased attention, and then in the same breath say that they had no idea that some of it would be negative or unwanted.

      Maybe the makers of Brazilian bikinis and their side-line of dental floss (which uses the heavy-gauge material) don't care what happens to the people that consume their fine products -- but the wearers of their fine (in every sense of the word) products have to be responsible for the risks proven inherent with their style choices -- if for no better reason than the observation of human behavior shows that their health and well-being are preserved better that way.

      1. No, I will not fix your computer

        Re: Just Sayin'


        While you seem rational in your last post, may I remind you of your previous one;

        >>what they're saying is: "Just in case you missed it, BOOBS HERE FOR THE VIEWING! FREE!"


        >>Sexy clothes are an advertisement.

        >>the wearers *like* the reaction

        >>wearers of their fine (in every sense of the word) products have to be responsible for the risks

        What? sexy clothes are an advertisment? and yet you say "I would never blame a woman for instigating an assault on her person" - you just did blame her!

        >>Maybe in a perfect world, women can walk around, genitalia exposed to the four winds,

        You sir are an idiot, jumping from one comment about a low neckline to "genitalia exposed to the four winds".

        This is how it works, leave a window unlocked and go out, the burglar is completely to blame if you get burgled, leave a window unlocked while you're at home and the burglar is still completely to blame if you get burgled, yes if you leave the house unlocked and go out then your insurance won't be eager to pay out, but it's not your fault you got burgled, it's the burglar, you have a responsibility to protect your house but you're not to blame, leaving a window unlocked does not excuse the burglar, they are still 100% responsible, you might be an idiot, but it's still their fault.

        A woman with a low cut top may expect a glance at her cleavage, but it's not an "advertisment" for more, she may appreciate a smile (while looking at her face), she might even appreciate catching you staring (this will either be humourous, or bad form depending how often you get caught), act like a schoolchild who's never seen breasts "for real" and she might think you're an idiot, however this doesn't excuse you from making her feel uncomfortable, if you assume that she any responsibility for being assaulted just because she's wearing a low cut top, or if you, as the abuser somehow thinks it takes your responsibility away - "she knew the risks" then are perpetuating victim blaming.

        Yes, a lone woman going out drinking with no safe plan for getting home, walking through known dangerous areas is probably an idiot (and may end up being a victim of crime) it's still the attackers fault, being an easy target does not excuse him in any way whatsover, this is called rape culture.

  19. Arctic fox

    I assume that you are trying to claim that you have no personal experience...............

    "Although the steps themselves are opaque, it is still possible to cop an eyeful from below through the gaps between the steps ... err, apparently."

    ............dubious, very dubious.

  20. AussieCanuck46

    A few weeks ago I noticed someone with a fairly large telescope at the foot of the CN Tower in Toronto. After reading this article I now believe that person wasn't star-gazing, he was upskirting through the glass floor some 342 metres up. We should add that place to the list.

    1. Sam 15

      "he was upskirting through the glass floor some 342 metres up"

      I expect we will see this verb within the covers of the OED any day now.

      Thinking about it, the OED probably employs a full time neologism-spotter to keep an eye on El Reg

      1. perlcat

        Re: "he was upskirting through the glass floor some 342 metres up"

        Yep, they come up with some really cromulent words!

        1. Chris Sake

          Re: "he was upskirting through the glass floor some 342 metres up"

          This act is a noble sight which embiggens even the smallest man.

  21. Nick Pettefar

    I wonder

    If they've thought of wearing knickers?

  22. Craig 28

    Nothing new

    Depending on the exact spacing and depth of the steps this problem can just as easily happen with wooden or metal slatted stairs, I knew of such staircases at secondary school and college and heard joking suggestions about looking up through the gaps though never knew of anyone who did. In the school it woud have been damned obvious anyway because under the stairs was visible through a large outside window. What can I say, teenage humour.

    I wouldn't of course condone anyone actually looking up through the stairs in these cases, and perhaps extra steps to make certain line of sight doesn't work would be good, but ideally I don't feel the architectural principle should be sacrificed simply for something like this. There are times when short skirts aren't practical, windy days for example, this is just another one. If someone gets caught peeping by all means throw the book at them but don't blame the building design, blame the pervert, and if it's a big enough problem wear either a longer skirt or trousers if you're going into a location where upskirt peeping is a risk. I wouldn't expect a woman to cross a raised bridge prone to gusting winds in a short skirt either.

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