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Court Forbids Collective Distribution of NEIS CD

Posted November. 28, 2003 23:28,   


The 50th Collegial Judgment at the Seoul District Court (Superintendent Judge Lee Hong-hun) has approved of the provisional disposition petition, which asked for the ceasing of production and distribution of CD-Rs containing private information of three high school seniors, including Sung(17), who are applying to universities, on November 28.

It is inevitable for the Department of Education and Human Resources Development to reform this system, which provides universities information on all students for the college admission process, since this ruling is based on the personal rights of applicants rather than an efficient administration of education.

The college admission process will probably not be affected by the decision because the judgment is applicable to only these three students in the lawsuit.

The ruling clarified that a collective distribution of CD-R, containing information of 600,000 high school seniors, to all universities could unreasonably invade the third party’s rights.

Even though the Labor Union of Korea Teachers (LUKT), which supported this petition as a form of resistance against the National Education Information System (NEIS), asserted the illegality of NEIS, the court sustained judgment on this issue, saying “The act itself, in which the Minister of Education and Human Resources Development accessed the students’ school life record through NEIS, is legal.”

“We will distribute CD-Rs to universities after deleting the information of the three students,” the Department of Education said, clearly making its position known. “We will apply for an appeal of dissatisfaction.”

In case either a mass of students applying for the provisional disposition petition or the movement of the LUKT against producing CD-R increases, it would affect the college admission process this year.

“The Department of Education should abide by the ruling and immediately stop producing CD-Rs,” said Song Won-jae spokesperson of LUKT, adding, “We are considering a lawsuit to claim damages against the Department of Education.”

The Department of Education has produced CD-Rs, containing information of 600,000 high school seniors, and distributed them collectively to 380 universities since 1997. Each university has used information from this CD-R to determine whether the information provided by applicants is actually correct.

Seong-Chul Hong Soo-Kyung Kim sungchul@donga.com skkim@donga.com