Pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tors will be li­censed to find run­away kids, miss­ing per­sons

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL -

Pri­vate de­tec­tive busi­nesses will be of­fi­cially per­mit­ted in South Korea, be­gin­ning later this week, fol­low­ing the Na­tional As­sem­bly pas­sage of a rel­e­vant le­gal re­vi­sion early this year, the na­tion’s po­lice agency said Tues­day.

A re­vi­sion of the Credit In­for­ma­tion Use and Pro­tec­tion Act is to take ef­fect on Wed­nes­day, re­mov­ing the ban on the use of the term “pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tor,” called “tam­jeong” in Korean, in busi­ness or per­sonal ti­tles, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Po­lice Agency (NPA).

De­spite dereg­u­la­tion, how­ever, the scope of pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tors’ ac­tiv­i­ties will be strictly reg­u­lated due to the need to pro­tect pri­vate in­for­ma­tion and pre­vent pri­vacy in­fringe­ment, the NPA said, vow­ing to crack down on il­le­gal op­er­a­tions of pri­vate de­tec­tive ser­vice providers.

Con­trary to pub­lic per­cep­tion, pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tors will still be pro­hib­ited from col­lect­ing ev­i­dence in crim­i­nal and civil cases and lo­cat­ing the where­abouts of fugi­tive of­fend­ers, the agency said. They will also be banned from col­lect­ing ev­i­dence on cases un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion or trial and from gath­er­ing data to prove a spouse’s cheat­ing, for in­stance, it ex­plained.

Like­wise, track­ing down the where­abouts of run­away debtors or spouses can run counter to the Per­sonal In­for­ma­tion Pro­tec­tion Act, it said.

The NPA said pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tors’ ac­tiv­i­ties per­mit­ted un­der the re­vised law in­clude find­ing the lo­ca­tions of run­away chil­dren and youth and miss­ing per­sons.

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