Credible security system is crucialThree credit card companies face unprecedented administrative action for the theft and loss of private information from millions of account holders. Financial authorities are considering suspending the business operations of KB Kookmin Card, NH Nonghyup Card and Lotte Card for three months, which would restrict them from adding new clients and issuing credit card-based loans and cash advances. The executives of those companies could also face criminal charges.
Those punishments, however, won’t likely be enough to ease consumer anxieties about the loss of their private information or spur confidence in financial services. People spent the Lunar New Year holiday fretting over the possible abuse of their private information and financial accounts. The public remains skeptical of the promises by the government to ensure safety and security of their personal data and financial assets. It is entirely up to the government to ease consumer jitters and restore confidence in the financial system. The government must unveil a comprehensive system to collect, store and control consumer data.
It should first come up with an alternative security code to identify consumers for financial services and replace the widely used 13-digit resident residential number. The Financial Services Commission and the Ministry of Security and Public Administration are considering finding another way to identify individuals, but they cannot guarantee they will be successful this year. It is not easy to develop a new authentication and social security system based on residents’ registration numbers, which all Korean citizens have until death.
The government must seek out ideas from various sectors to develop new identification tools. It must come up with workable measures to protect consumer privacy and prevent the loss and abuse of personal information. For instance, resident numbers could be requested for initial identification and would never be used again. An incremental and multilayered security system should be developed to protect databases and clients’ information. Coming up with a credible security system for protecting private information is more urgent than eradicating resident registration numbers.