Korea to tighten supervision over telcos

Summary:Regulator says it will strengthen supervision and management of country’s three telecom companies to further prevent personal data and information leaks, following recent spate of breaches.

Broadcast and telecom watchdog, Korea Communications Commission (KCC), announced Thursday it will strengthen its supervision and management of the country's three telecom companies--SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus--to further prevent personal data and information leaks.

This follows news last week KT, the second biggest domestic mobile carrier, was found to have its system hacked. Two men were arrested for allegedly stealing personal information of about 8.7 million customers  and selling it to marketing companies.

In a report Thursday, the Korea Herald said KCC launched a team of inspectors to probe KT, which had been facing mounting public criticism for its delayed handling of the leak. The telco is also facing a possible class action lawsuit from over 30,000 people for failing to protect sensitive information such as their addresses, names and registration numbers, according to the article.

Part of the strengthened supervision will see KCC's jurisdiction extend beyond the headquarters of the telcos to their nationwide branches and sales agents. KCC added it would work with other government agencies to prevent irregular telemarketing activities.

The news daily also noted KCC had "devised countermeasures aimed at protecting personal information and forbidding illegal telemarketing operations", which would allow the watchdog to enforce preventive action. KCC added it will periodically check and disclose from now on whether the telecom companies and their stores had effectively managed customer data.

In a separate regulatory move last month, the KCC announced it would allow mobile carriers to block access to free Internet calls , if deemed necessary, as part of a wider slew of new guidelines over the use and management of networks.

Topics: Telcos, Security

About

Loves caption contests, leisurely strolls along supermarket aisles and watching How It's Made. Ryan has covered finance, politics, tech and sports for TV, radio and print. He is also co-author of best seller "Profit from the Panic". Ryan is an editor at ZDNet's Asia/Singapore office.

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