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South Korea's awareness of Internet ethics, "the right to be forgotten"

2012/08/12 | 381 views |  | Permalink | Source

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The right to be forgotten has been well received worldwide (photo courtesy of KSIE).

Everyone's luxury is forgetting in the course of human history but in the Internet age you are not entitled to be forgotten no matter who you are. A modern citizen, celebrity or ordinary person, is blessed by the free flow of information in the digital world, but is somewhat shadowed by the nature of persistent memory.

The Economist raised some perplexing questions about what happens to our digital property when we die. Who owns our blogs, our photos, or our emails? How secure would this retained data be? Would it be beyond hacking? Would it extend to emails and photos uploaded to social media sites? It's not easy to find out because service providers have different rules. These critical privacy infringements in cyberspace have set off a campaign to uphold the "right to be forgotten", which allows users to demand information about them be deleted by social networking websites.

The European Commission has proposed a set of ambitious online privacy rules that would allow users to demand that information about them be deleted by social networking websites, unless such sites have a legitimate reason to hold onto the information. Existing regulations give website operators the exclusive right to delete or modify reproduced content, leaving their customers helpless when it comes to self-control of their own privacy online. The significance of the "right to be forgotten" in the Internet age has been well received worldwide and the promotional campaigns for the unheard-of right are increasingly gaining momentum.

In South Korea, there have been conferences where Internet experts and privacy activists made a symbolic declaration reaffirming the significance of the right to be forgotten. The country's Internet regulator, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC), also supports the regulation which is intended to encourage job creation and economic growth rather than hinder it. The South Korean Constitution provides citizens with active rights to control information about themselves. And the Korean authorities have been quick to take action against companies on concerns about unauthorized data collection. Efforts are under way within the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum to coordinate the patchwork of different approaches around the region. At the Ninth APEC Ministerial Meeting held in St. Petersburg, Russia, ongoing meetings are held with Information and Communication World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) on the agenda.

The Ninth APEC Ministerial Meeting was held in St. Petersburg, Russia. KCC Chairman Lee Gye-cheol promoted Cyberspace in South Korea, an international conference to be held in Busan in 2013 and 2014, to get the full support of the United States (photo courtesy of KCC).

"The right has been ignored for so long, but the time has come to revive it", said Shin Yong-tae, vice chairman of the Korea Society of Internet Ethics at the Internet ethics conference held in February 2012. "It may not be easy to enact a law to protect the right, but to make the rule is now indispensable, not optional". With brilliant technological advancement in IT, South Korea will establish a high stance on Internet ethics.

By An Myungok
Korea.net Staff Writer

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