Korean Data Privacy Act: Need for Compliance Audit for your Korean Company

The European Union General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) focuses on the data security of personal data of users of the internet. As the EU offers a potentially lucrative market for online businesses for many Korean companies, South Korea was eager to amend its existing Act on the Promotion of IT Network Use and Information Protection of Korea (“Korean Network Act”) based, at least, partially on bench-marking of the EU GDPR. We suggest all companies, doing business in Korea, conduct via a professional in data privacy – a compliance audit. We suggest the professional has an understanding of not, only, Korean Law, but the law of the European Union as it relates to data privacy. Fines and criminal penalties for violation of data privacy laws have increased in Korea.

Korean Data Privacy

Korean Network Act
The Korean Network Act was amended in December of 2018. Korea, the EU and other nations are in ongoing discussions on how to most efficiently provide for protection of personal data while mitigating damages faced by companies. Many challenges to these laws are expected in both Korea, EU, the United States and other countries. What is certain, in the EU and Korea – mere waivers and terms of use shall not be adequate for compliance with the relevant law.

Basic Korean Data Protection Law Considerations

  1. Part of this amendments of the Korean Network Act came into force on 19th of March 2019;
  2. The Korean Network Act requires, for example, “digital communications providers,” who hold South Korean data, but who have no physical presence in the country, to establish a domestic representative to deal and monitor data protection issues faced by users in Korea; and
  3. Soon to come on line shall be laws related to data localization requirements and the protection of the data of children.

We shall be updating the reader of this blog when more comes available. We recommend all companies have a compliance audit with a particular focus on Privacy, Employment, Tax and the Basic Compliance Processes in order to stay ahead of the ever changing and often complicated compliance regime in Korea.

For further information to the GDPR take a look here: https://eugdpr.org/.

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