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Disputes over Employees’ Private Information Leakage

Posted June. 07, 2005 06:42,   


The Ministry of Labor has decided to outsource its employment insurance related service, causing disputes over the protection of private information.

Since the service deals with an individual’s private information, such as name, residence registration number, address, wage, and reason for leaving the office, there is a high possibility of information leakage if an outside company is involved.

“The Ministry of Labor is planning to outsource the entry of employment insurance related information. The information includes reports of the issuance and loss of the employment insurance, the confirmation certificate of change of occupation, and the confirmation document on the employee’s working history,” according to the Employment Security Center and the labor union of job counselors under the Ministry of Labor on June 6.

The ministry has selected two employment security centers in Daejeon and Seocho-gu, Seoul to run its pilot operation there, and the operation has been running since June 1.

In this regard, at the Daejeon center, employees dispatched to the center are already working on entering the information into the computer, while the Seocho center sends its information to an outside company and lets the company handle it there.

Of the two pilot operations, a selected method by the ministry will be introduced to other six centers, including the Gangnam Employment Security Center, starting next month. Full-scale introduction to centers nationwide is scheduled for the latter half of this year.

The number of reports that need to be entered reaches 12,260,000 annually. However, no countermeasures to prevent documents containing private information from leaking are prepared.

The labor union of job counselors said that in the case of a dispatched employee working within the center, the possibility of information leakage might be low, but also pointed out that monitoring a dispatch worker directly by the center, not by the employer company, is against the law.

“Since there is a high possibility of private information leakage, we’re planning to submit a petition to the National Human Rights Commission of Korea,” said Oh Hyeon-ju, the president-elect of the labor union of job counselors.

A ministry officer said that the ministry’s decision intends to seek a way to improve the quality of the administration service of the employment security centers, and the operation to be entrusted is merely typing work. “We are preparing countermeasures, such as receiving a written pledge from the company, in order to enhance the security of the information,” said the officer.

The employment insurance is a system to provide the unemployed with unemployment insurance money, while affording a bounty for job training to companies. The system started off in July 1995 and as of now, it has approximately 7,680,000 workers as members.

Jae-MyoungLee egija@donga.com