Korea, EU officials discuss privacy protection

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Korea, EU officials discuss privacy protection

Representatives from Korea and the European Union agreed to accelerate discussions to enable mutual data flow between the two regions in a meeting in Seoul on Friday.

The talks between Chairman Lee Hyo-seong of the Korea Communications Commission and Vera Jourova, commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality at the European Commission, come just one week after the European Union enforced the world’s toughest regulations to protect people’s online data, dubbed the General Data Protection Regulation.

As the new rules also regulate data flowing out of the EU, countries have to prove that they have an adequate level of data protection or introduce new safeguarding measures before they can handle European information.

Korea has been pursuing adequacy talks with the EU.

Under European law, the European Commission has the power to determine whether a country outside of the EU offers an adequate level of data protection, whether by domestic legislation or international commitments it has entered into.

While the commission has recognized some countries including the United States, Canada and Israel, talks are still ongoing with Korea.

According to the Korea Communications Commission, the two parties agreed that they “share very similar values with respect to human rights, with both sides recognizing personal data protection as a fundamental right.”

The two also confirmed their commitment to finding suitable solutions to bridge relevant differences between their data protection systems.

Korea’s commission added that the two plan on meeting later this year to finalizing the adequacy talks.

“I hope to see both parties strengthening efforts to complete adequacy findings within this year,” Lee said. “This will bring new opportunities for companies in both Korea and the EU.”

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
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