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Korea checking Google’s new privacy policy

South Korea’s communications regulator said Saturday it is checking to see if Google’s new privacy policy of combining all user information into a single trove violates local laws.

A source at the Korea and Communications Commission said an investigation is underway to see if the measures being planned by the global search engine conflict with domestic private information protection and open use of Internet rules. Google’s changes are expected to go into effect on March 1.

The comments come after the KCC received communication from Google Korea that the parent company’s intent to combine nearly all its information on users, so it can offer individually-tailored services, is a worldwide endeavor. The company added that South Korea cannot be left out of the global change and users who do not agree with the policy can opt out of using Google services, which include e-mail and Internet searches.

In the past, Google, which controls more than 80 percent of the world’s search engine market, kept information on users of different services separately.

The KCC hinted that if Google is found to have violated local laws, it could take appropriate action. Several European regulators have already called on Google to hold off on making the change so they can look into possible repercussions. 

(Yonhap News)