Big data initiative takes huge hit

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Big data initiative takes huge hit

The country’s worst-ever breach of personal information could deal a blow to the big data policy - a key part of the Park Geun-hye administration’s creative economy initiative - that hinges on the ability for companies to share information.

KB Kookmin Card, one of the three companies with the largest number of customers affected by the leaks, was poised for a new marketing strategy using big data starting this month. Now, the launch of the program has been postponed indefinitely.

The service was intended to analyze past purchasing patterns and behavior of customers to provide them with real-time information about new products and services.

The Korea Expressway Corporation also plans to build a system that shows traffic conditions in different regions by collecting information by Hi-pass, a relatively new card payment system for tolls and the existing electronic toll collection system, but it, too, will be delayed.

“As the number of Hi-pass users increases, it has become easier to analyze drivers’ personal information and traffic conditions, but we can’t even talk about it due to the current information leak issue,” said an employee at the corporation.

The government plans to double the big data market by 2017 by boosting development of related technologies and increasing infrastructure and services.

According to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, the government is set to help create more than 10 world-class big data businesses and produce as many as 5,000 experts in a bid to make Korea a leader in the international standardization of big data technologies.

Active distribution of data is a major part of government policy.

The ministry planned to invest 500 billion won ($462 million) in the new market through 2016, but it has temporarily suspended all related projects.

The government’s move to ease regulations involving online financial transactions to bolster its creative economy initiative will also be affected.

The Financial Services Commission initially planned to simplify online payment systems by easing a current regulation on mandatory use of certificates.

“Given the current situation, it will take more time than planned to execute the plan,” said an FSC official.

Industry insiders and experts are complaining about the immediate change in the government’s stance.

“With a global trend of big data, enhanced rules and regulations will cause us to lose an opportunity to foster it as a new future industry,” said Lim Jong-in, dean of the Graduate School of Information Security at Korea University. “It is important to strike a balance between the industry’s growth and information security.”


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