Constitutional Court Upholds Ban on Private Detectives | Be Korea-savvy

Constitutional Court Upholds Ban on Private Detectives

(image: KobizMedia/ Korea Bizwire)

(image: KobizMedia/ Korea Bizwire)

SEOUL, Jul. 11 (Korea Bizwire)The South Korean Constitutional Court has ruled that current legislation banning businesses from making inquiries into one’s privacy is not unconstitutional.

This includes the ban on using the term “detective” by private investigators in their business dealings.

In a previous lawsuit, a former police officer claimed that the ban on “detective” and the limitations imposed on investigative work infringed on his freedom of employment. In the ruling, the panel of judges denied the allegation unanimously.

The Constitutional Court stated that the collection of personal information via illegal means such as hidden cameras and GPS tracking devices has become a social issue.

“In regards to such a situation, there is no other way to preserve the privacy and peace of one’s personal life without putting a ban on such practices,” noted the ruling statement.

In regards to the ban of the word “detective” for commercial purposes, the court explained that allowing individuals to call themselves “detective” would cause the public to wrongly think that the person in question had the legal authority to carry out investigative work.

At present, all member nations of the OECD except South Korea recognize private investigation as a legal occupation.

Varying from state to state, the U.S. allows individuals to apply for a private detective license with three years of relevant experience.

In Japan, all registered individuals can work as a private investigator. In South Korea, a law that would legitimize private investigation work is in the works as a newly drafted bill awaits evaluation in the National Assembly.

H. S. Seo (

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