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PIPC`s Activities

Title The PIPC's recommendation to the Ministry of Justice on minimising privacy infringement resulting from the publication of the information about those who have acquired/lost Korean nationality
Date 2018-12-28 Hits 2329

The Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) recommended at its 20th plenary
meeting on October 1 that the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) should prevent the disclosure of
excessive amount of personal data resulting from the publication of the information about
those who have acquired or lost Korean nationality.

Currently, according to Article 17 of the Nationality Act and Article 26 of the Enforcement
Decree of the Act, the MOJ publishes in its official gazette personal details of those who
have acquired or lost Korean nationality, including their name, date of birth, original
nationality, etc.

The official gazette can be accessed by anyone via the Internet, where the personal data of
up to 30,000 to 50,000 individuals is published annually.

The publication of such personal data in the official gazette in accordance with the
Nationality Act was initially aimed at giving effect to naturalisation, the purpose of which is
no longer well defined since the removal of the relevant provision from the Act in 1998.

The PIPC is of the view that individuals’ privacy may be violated by the publication of too
much personal data despite the fact that public fact-finding is in the public interest.

The PIPC has, in particular, concluded that the personal data easily collected via the Internet
can possibly be traded illegally or used for criminal purposes, such as for Internet account
hacking and voice phishing.

The PIPC is also of the view that the personal data once published will continue to exist and
that will unreasonably restrict the right to information privacy of data subjects.

A recommendation has therefore been made that the relevant Ministry should improve its
system aimed at minimising the disclosure of personal data by publishing it partially only or
pseudonymising it.

Commissioner Jahye Kim said, “this recommendation will serve as an opportunity to reform
the laws that allow the disclosure of excessive amount of personal data in the current
context where the awareness of the society on personal data has been raised.”

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