Financial firms urged to help gov’t on MyData

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Financial firms urged to help gov’t on MyData

The government is asking major financial companies to actively participate in sharing client information to boost MyData services, a government-led project that is supposed to give individuals more control over their personal information.

The government is hoping to implement MyData next year.

“There’s a huge imbalance of information between financial companies and their customers because product structures are complicated and they are not standardized, so it is not easy for an average consumer to compare products and their benefits,” Financial Services Commission Chairman Choi Jong-ku said in a meeting about the implementation of MyData in Gangnam, southern Seoul, on Wednesday.

“Nowadays, traces of each and every individual are recorded digitally and saved,” Choi said. “In an information era, we have reached a point at which consumers are now able to know more information about themselves than that of financial companies.”

The nation’s chief financial policymaker said MyData will allow consumers to compare and make rational choices through the more transparent and efficient use of information provided by financial companies. Financial companies will be forced to change sales practices that were more focused on increasing their own profits and provide services that satisfy consumer needs.

“For existing financial institutions, actively sharing information won’t sound too sweet,” Choi said. “However, the data owned by major companies will only lead to monopolies and widen the information gap between major financial companies, smaller financial companies and fintech companies.”

Choi also predicted that MyData will lead to new businesses that specialize in information protection, which will create a positive cycle of creating quality job opportunities and economic growth.

MyData is a government led trial platform that allows individuals to manage and provide personal information that has been collected from institutions and companies including financial firms, telecommunication operators and hospitals, and allow third party companies to access select data.

MyData will allow people to search and find their own personal information that has been spread across different companies.

Under the MyData project, individuals can download private information such as their medical records as well as financial assets and credit ratings and pass it on to companies that provide personal health management, or to asset managers that create customized financial products.

In 2011, the U.S. government launched Smart Disclosure, which allows accessed data to be used by innovators to create interactive services and tools that consumers can use to make “better informed decisions.”

The FSC is hoping that once MyData is up and running, the local data market will grow into a 10 trillion won ($8.8 billion) market by 2022 with 150,000 data experts.


BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]

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