Due to frequent hacking incidents, portals have decided it’s not safe to collect such information
By Koo Bon-kwon, Technology Correspondent
Following Nate, South Korean portal site Naver and Daum have decided not to collect resident registration numbers and to dispose of the numbers that they have already collected.
Naver and Daum which are operated by NHN and Daum communications, respectively, announced Tuesday that they will stop collecting numbers from next year and destroy collected information in phases by the end of next year. Accordingly, all three domestic portal sites will not keep citizens’ numbers any more.
“We have been encrypting personal information that we have collected, but as hacking has continued, we need changes in our policy,” said an official from NHN. “We are considering to use i-Pin, cellular phones or credit cards to verify new member‘s identity for registration.” Daum Communications plans to use the information acquired from credit information companies for identification in case identification is required according to law.
Those decisions by three major portal sites came after the hacking attack on SK Communications, operator of Nate, last July in which personal information from 35 million people was stolen. As a counter-measure to the recent attack, Nate has decided to stop collecting personal information. They implemented this last September and intend to discard all the personal information they have by end of this month. Prior to this, online gaming company NCSoft has changed their policy last April to allow users to use the games without providing personal information. And NCSoft have dramatically strengthened their encryption methods on previously collected personal information in the third quarter.
Observers say that current practice of requiring personal information including resident registration number which was created in accordance to “Internet real name policy,” is changing fundamentally following continued hackings on personal information and competition against global services.
(Translated by Kim Joon-ki, Intern)
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