The majority of South Korean public agencies and businesses do not implement proper measures to safeguard the personal data they hold, government data showed Sunday.
According to the Ministry of Safety and Public Administration, over 85 percent of the 754 organizations inspected in 2012 and 2013 were slapped with administrative penalties for violating the rules aimed at protecting personal information.
Korea has gone through a series of massive data thefts, notably the data leak of some 20 million credit card users at KB Kookmin, Lotte and NongHyup Card in January.
Of the 3.5 million domestic businesses that handle personal information, the ministry conducted special and field inspections on those that store a large amount of personal data.
The ministry also said Korean agencies and businesses do not invest enough money in protecting the personal data they handle.
Almost 97 percent of 2,000 private business owners said they do not set aside budget for protecting the personal information of their customers, according to an inspection conducted last year by the ministry and the National Information Society Agency.
Over half of the organizations in the public sector also said they do not have budget for data protection measures.
Under the revised law, private businesses will be banned from collecting resident registration numbers starting in August. Almost 70 percent of businesses as of last year, however, do not provide an alternative identification method to the RRN.
By Suh Ye-seul (firstname.lastname@example.org)