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NPC Possesses Too Much Information about Its Subscribers

NPC Possesses Too Much Information about Its Subscribers

Posted July. 26, 2005 03:08,   


It was revealed that the National Pension Corporation (NPC) possesses too much private information about pension subscribers.

Experts indicated that this was possible because of government agencies that provided all information requests by the NPC without investigating, which is highly likely to violate the rights to privacy.

According to materials that Dong-A Ilbo obtained yesterday, the NPC has received all kinds of private information of their subscribers including educational background, military service, income level, and medical condition, from 16 government agencies.

For example, from Patriots and Veterans Administration Agency, the NPC obtained information about the subscribers of patriot pensions, such as telephone numbers, addresses, and pension types, and from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the corporation received information about welfare recipients such as the causes of their leaving and returning to welfare.

The NPC, however, posits that it is necessary information in managing the subscribers of national pension, other public pension subscribers, and exceptional subscribers who don’t pay pension bills.

Despite this, the NPC has too much private information that has almost nothing to do with its operation such as the reason of student’s temporary absence from schools, the reason of imprisonment, and the purpose of travel of foreigners. It even asked the launching date of fishing trips of fishermen.

Article 5 of Act on the Protection of Personal Information Maintained by Public Agencies states, “Public agencies are permitted to have private information about individuals that is necessary in carrying out their operation.”

However, Lee Ji-ho, a lawyer from the law office Jeongryul, said, “The information NPC holds now exceeds the level that is constrained by the current law,” adding, “Since it is highly possible to be violating privacy rights, certain measures must be taken promptly.”

Last year, NPC provoked controversy by inspecting private information about those who were active in a campaign attacking NPC and their spouses. At that time, officials who inspected the information were the members of facilities and business team, and a trade union who were not related to customer service.

In response to this, a source from NPC said, “In order to make such works efficient as checking exemptions and fixing the pension bill in accordance with income level, we gathered extra information about subscribers.”

Park Hyeong-du (39), belonging to AntiNPC, said, “The people’s distrust of the NPC’s operation shows no signs of subsiding. Under such circumstances, NPC even controls private information such as this, which is very shocking to us.”

Se-Jin Jung mint4a@donga.com