Public Opinion on Disclosure of Suspect’s Face

A. Definition

Opinion on whether or not Korean people agree with the disclosure of a suspect’s face

B. Formula

The percentage of respondents agreeing to the disclosure of a suspect’s face
* In the question, “Do you agree or disagree with the disclosure of a suspect’s face?” the results of “1) very much agree” and “2) agree” were accumulated into “agree.”

C. Features and Sources

Category Sub-Category Sub-Subcategory Type of Indicator Reference Data Sources First Year Data Available Update Frequency
Right to Freedom Basic Freedoms Privacy Rights Subjective/Result National Human Rights Commission of Korea National Human Rights Awareness Survey 2005 5years

D. Description

In the case of a suspect who commits a crime, it is common to treat their face with a mosaic effect when exposed to the media, so that the individual cannot be recognized. This is due to the intention to protect the rights of individuals who may have committed crimes, by respecting their right to privacy. However, there are opinions that it is necessary to disclose the face of the suspect, claiming the right of individual safety. In the case of felony crime, the face of the suspect is revealed according to judgment. This can be regarded as a case where the right to privacy of the individual and the right to safety of the people are in conflict. Indeed, if we look at the indicators, we can see that there are a lot of people who responded “agree” to the disclosure of the suspect’s face. In particular, when compared to men and women, the rate of approval of women is higher. Compared with the year, the number of people who opposed the disclosure of the suspect’s face increased by 10% from 2011 to 2016, indicating that the human rights consciousness of the people has changed. This is a common phenomenon in both men and women. This seems to stem from the perception that even criminals should have human rights and be protected for their basic rights. However, since there is no clear answer between the right to privacy and the right to security, the government needs to recognize public opinion and strive to prevent the excessive violation of human rights in suspects.