The leakage of personal information in social media occurred several times, and it has become a big social issue. The term social media commonly refers to online platforms that create and enhance social relationships through free communication, information sharing, and networking. These social media are based on the information of users. This makes information ‘security’ more important. In March 2018, however, a shocking fact was known to the public that Facebook, which is one of the most popular social media companies, leaked 50 million users’ personal information to the data analytics company, Cambridge Analytica.
Such personal information leakage has occurred not only on Facebook, but also on other social media. This is because big data technology is emerging and many companies want to take advantage of the big data from the social media. While the proper use of personal information is necessary, the misuse or abuse of information without proper criterion should be avoided. Therefore, in Korea, the Act on the Protection of Personal Information became the standard to prevent the above mentioned problem (referred to privacy law below).
According to the privacy law, except under special circumstances, the personal information manager must have the consent of the subject of information in order to collect and provide the personal information to third parties. However, most of the suspects accused of violating privacy laws usually claim that users have agreed to provide personal information to a third party. However, the letters are often too small to recognize or they are often hidden under the terms of signing through events.
As such situations continue, the Korean government has tightened the privacy law. Overall, the protection and handling of personal information has been strengthened, and it has become more specific to ensure that the personal information manager has no difficulties in following the law. First, when the companies are obtaining information consent from the users, the law specified what should clearly be indicated and how it should be displayed. Therefore, it allowed the users to easily identify the contents of the agreement according to the enforcement rules. The law strengthened the right of the subject of information through compensation for damages, and the duty of the personal information manager. For this reason, the trend of strengthening personal information protection is expected to spread widely.
Jung In-hwa (ST Reporter)