Regulations on internet firms should be toughened for user protection: outgoing KCC chief

2017.04.07 15:09:50 | 2017.04.07 15:10:17

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South Korea needs a new set of internet regulations to strengthen protection of users’ rights, said outgoing chairman of Korea Communications Commission (KCC)Choi Sung-joon during an interview with Maeil Business Newspaper on Thursday, one day before leaving his office.

Choi, who finished his three-year term on Friday, said there are increasing cases of internet users’ rights being violated while only the interests of service providers are preserved. There are still many regulations in the broadcasting industry despite their reduced influence, but internet is still without any restrictions even though its influence is growing bigger. “A certain level of regulations should be made to prevent users’ rights from being infringed online due to fake news or excessive advertisements,” he said.

If the internet regulations are put in place, however, they would only hurt domestic firms because global companies operating in Korea would not be subject to them. He said he has commissioned a study to find ways to solve the problem. The telecommunications regulator has had to just rely on foreign companies’ promise to follow the nation’s online business operation guidelines as there is no way to regulate them, he said.

Choi also emphasized that both the promotion and regulation on the broadcasting and IT industries should be handled by one state authority. Currently, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning is in charge of promoting the industries while the KCC is responsible for regulations. “We can no longer separate the promotion and regulation in the era of so-called fourth industrial revolution where boundaries between industries are meaningless,” he said. In order to foster the big data business, for instance, both the utilization and protection of the private data are important, so that the promotion and regulation policies should go hand in hand, he added.

By Kim Gyu-sik

[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]