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Lawmakers` False Claim on Personal Information Leak

Posted February. 25, 2005 23:10,   


Following the revelation that Democratic Labor Party member Choi Soon-young and Uri Party member Bok Ki-wang had handed over materials for the National Assembly’s inspection to the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union (reported on the A1 page of February 24 issue), the Korean Federation of Teachers’ Associations (KFTA) has released a statement asserting, “It was revealed that Choi’s claim that he would organize a group of volunteers to analyze the inspection data was a lie.” The KFTA has urged a resolution to the issue, claiming “Choi should offer a sincere apology to 400,000 educational workers.”

The KFTA said in its statement, “A lawmaker in charge may get help from people when analyzing materials for the National Assembly’s inspection yet the prerequisite condition is that he should try to do it for himself,” and warned, “It is a cause for grave concern that the inspection data has left the National Assembly and has been distributed.”

Assemblymen Choi and Bok claimed in the data they released on February 24, “Expecting concerns for potential leakage of personal information, we agreed with and demanded the Gyeongsangbuk-do Office of Education to submit related data with personal information with resident registration numbers deleted.”

Moreover, Lee Won-young, aide to lawmaker Choi, noted, “There were not any resident registration numbers when we checked the materials for the National Assembly’s inspection,” adding, “Even if there were, the blame should go to the Office of Education that failed to delete personal information before handing data over to us.”

However, the Gyeongsangbuk-do Office of Education announced on February 25 that it had not reached any official agreement with the two assemblymen over what to do with the personal information.

An official from the office said, “The two lawmakers requested in an official document that we give them data regarding educational equipment we had provided for 1,700 schools in Gyeongsangbuk-do from 2001 through 2004, including purchase specifications, and names, addresses, resident registration numbers and contact numbers of suppliers.” He added, “We asked them repeatedly when submitting the materials to the National Assembly that they take extra care to keep personal information protected.”

The data collected by the 23 local educational offices under the Gyeongsangbuk-do Office of Education and handed to the two lawmakers contains personal information of suppliers, but does not include all information about their purchase of equipment from the Public Procurement Service. The inspection material does contain names, addresses (including street numbers), resident registration numbers, business registration numbers, contact numbers, and registered seals of suppliers.

Kwon-Hyo Lee boriam@donga.com