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Tighter control of Internet privacy

Posted July. 12, 2000 20:48,   


People who buy and sell personal information through the Internet without the permission of the owner, will be fined up to one billion won. The government will also probe Internet shopping malls for unfair advertising and set up e-commerce laws beginning next month.

Officials from the Ministry of Finance and Economy; the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy; the Ministry of Information and Communications and other related organizations gathered at the Kwachon Government Complex today to discuss consumer protection on the Internet. They agreed to revise the laws regarding the usage of high-tech information networks in the September plenary session of the National Assembly.

E-commerce businesses that sell customer information to a third party without authorization from the customer will now be subject to a maximum five-year imprisonment or a 500 million won fine, up from the current minimum one-year imprisonment or 100 million won fine. Also, a new regulation will be introduced, stipulating that illegal buyers and sellers of personal information will be fined 3% of the profits obtained from the activity (minimum one billion won).

The new strengthened regulations will be enforced beginning next July after approval from the Assembly.

The government will investigate Internet service providers and Internet malls for unfair advertising as well as introduce regulations concerning unfair trading practices in e-commerce.

Specific measures regarding e-commerce and cybercash membership will be set up to protect consumers. Regulations related to door-to-door sales will be revised as well, establishing clear standards in Internet business practices such as declaring and registering e-businesses, subscription withdrawal rights, and Internet advertising. The central and regional governments and the Korea Consumer Protection Board (KCPB) plan to enforce these measures by laying out a provision in the Consumer¡¯s Protection Law.

According to the KCPB, 710 cases related to e-commerce have been reported in the first half of the year, 2.5 times that of the 284 cases reported last year.