Published : 2010-03-29 23:24
Updated : 2010-03-29 23:24
Auction, a major online open market, is not responsible for the theft of its customers` personal information, the Seoul Central District Court ruled yesterday.
"Auction cannot be seen as having violated any duties as a Web service provider," ruled the court.
The company also immediately reported the data breach to authorities and to its customers, and thus may be seen as having taken appropriate countermeasures, said the court.
In February 2008, the personal information, including the names and resident registration numbers of 11 million online customers was stolen from the Auction Web site, resulting in a class action lawsuit of 145,000 plaintiffs.
Despite the complaints, the company was also seen as a victim of the hacking and thus released from sole responsibility for the information breach.
Experts, too, emphasized the importance of rapid and transparent countermeasures by companies, especially as hacking was very difficult to anticipate and prevent.
"Auction, at least, showed a good example by promptly responding to the en masse breach and by opening up the issue to the customers," said an official of the Korea Internet and Security Agency.
Legal experts also showed concern about the immediate class action lawsuits taken by the victims, saying that such suits should only be considered an option when all other forms of negotiation have failed.