Stop information leaksThe phone rings at a very important meeting. With everyone in the room watching and listening, the phone is answered, but only an advertisement flows from the receiver.
Most telephone users have experienced this irritating situation. That is why the public was angry when KT and Hanarotelecom were found to have leaked private information about their subscribers which was used in illegal marketing activities. The police learned of the offense last month.
When compared to what happened at the National Health Insurance and the National Pension Service, however, that was child’s play.
It was revealed yesterday that subscriber information was handed over to loan collectors, which may be linked to gang organizations.
It has caused consternation among the general population that employees of both public organizations freely inquired of a person out of curiosity.
At the National Health Insurance, where practically the entire population is registered, two employees were penalized for perusing subscribers’ personal information in 2003. That number grew to eight in 2005 and to 24 in 2006.
It is more astonishing at the National Pension Service, where 18 million are subscribed.
In just the first two months of 2006, 691 employees illegally looked up information on 1,647 subscribers. And it wasn’t just telephone numbers. Property, hospital and other records are being leaked.
Last year, more than 23,000 cases of personal information infringement were reported, according to the Korea Information Security Agency.
This information can be used in telephone phishing or other illegal cyber market transactions. Surreptitious use of private information must be brought under control.
It is a major crime that is shaking the foundation of an information-based society.
Governmental orders and fines are not enough ― these measures cannot prevent the leakage of personal information.
The authorities must track down the felons and deal with them with strict criminal charges.