For Korea, Google supplements rules

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For Korea, Google supplements rules

Google has accepted the Korean government’s request to supplement some of the new privacy policies it rolled out on March 1.

Korea is the first country in which the tech giant agreed to changes to make the policy jibe with local laws.

The Korea Communications Commission said yesterday Google submitted supplementary measures that would specify which private information of its users it collected and for what reason on its Korean-language site this month. Google also pledged to post telephone numbers of departments that deal with privacy protection and customer service. 

“A global business operator guaranteeing users’ privacy rights in collaboration with the country of its operation and respecting the country’s laws is a good precedent,” said Park Jae-moon, head of the network policy bureau at the commission, at a press briefing yesterday.

The announcement came less than two months after the regulator said it was checking if the new rules conflict with domestic law regarding private information protection.

According to the new policy unveiled early last month, when a user signs into Google, Google may combine information the user has provided to one service with information from some 60 other services such as Gmail, YouTube and the Circles feature of Google Plus. Previously, all that information was stored separately. Users have protested the change, claiming their information could be exploited for customized advertisements. Authorities in the U.S. and Europe are investigating whether the policies are breaking their laws, and Google rebuffed two requests from European regulators for a delay in implementing them. 

By Seo Ji-eun [spring@joongang.co.kr]

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