Status of Personal Information Infringement

A. Definition

Indicators of personal information infringement status by showing the type and number of infringement cases

B. Formula

Number of infringements on personal information: Number of complaints of personal information infringement that was received at Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA)
Types of privacy infringement: The number of complaints of personal information infringement complaints is classified according to the types of infringement that are stated in the 「Promotion of Information and Communication Network Utilization and Information Protection Act」
* “Other”: Items related to violation of procedural complaints such as notice, failure to disclose obligations, and unauthorized person in charge of personal information management

C. Features and Sources

Category Sub-Category Sub-Subcategory Type of Indicator Reference Data Sources First Year Data Available Update Frequency
Right to Freedom Basic Freedom Privacy Rights Objective/Result Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) Personal Information Infringement Report 2000 1year

D. Description

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 12 states the following: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.” One step further, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 17(1) proclaims, “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honor and reputation.” In addition to that, Article 17 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea explicitly assures privacy rights by saying, “The privacy of no citizen shall be infringed.” In an information society, personal information that is digitized can be exposed with other relevant personal information. Unfortunately, once personal information is leaked, it can spread quickly before one can mitigate it. Leaked information can also cause great physical damages. In particular, it is a very worrisome phenomenon that people in some internet communities are spoiling personal information and defaming others’ reputations. The number of personal information infringement consultations has increased sharply since 2010. However, after reaching 180,000 in 2013, the figure gradually decreased from 2014. This may be viewed as an effort by individuals to protect their own personal information, but it can also be attributed to the Personal Information Protection Law, which was initiated since 2014. According to the personal information infringement counseling consulted statistics by KISA, the number of counseling has decreased significantly after 2016, and there were 105,122 recorded cases in 2017. Since personal information includes not just the resident registration number, the ID, and the password of the internet homepage but also some various information on personal habits, hobbies, income, and medical information, it is necessary for each individual to be careful — regardless of whether personal information is unintentionally infringed in interpersonal relationships.

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