Feeds

South Korea delivers stern warning to...Facebook

30-day deadline to clean up on privacy

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Facebook is very much the social networking underdog in South Korea, and a warning from the country's privacy commissioner will not help it grow.

The Korean Communications Commission said Facebook was in breach of Korean data protection law and has 30 days to respond to the complaint.

The regulator said Facebook needed to get explicit consent from users in order to collect their information. Facebook's Ts&Cs cover data privacy, or the lack of it, but the regulator wants this made much clearer to users, IDG reports.

Korea has an extremely tech-literate population coupled with excellent internet access, and it has been into social networking for far longer than Mark Zuckerberg.

Its home-grown equivalent to Facebook, Cyworld, has signed up most of the nation's population already - it has 16 million members compared to Facebook's two million in the country. When the Reg visited Cyworld HQ, the site was getting 22 billion page impressions a month.

Despite its early and massive success the site has struggled to compete internationally. Launches in the US and Germany were quickly abandoned although the company has had some success in China and Vietnam.

Cyworld's popularity has dropped a little since its peak when it claimed virtually every Korean between 18 and 25 as a member.

Users get a "minihompy" (mini-home-page) which they can link to their friends' pages. Revenue comes from the sale or rent of virtual decorations for the page, background music and mobile access.

Facebook has a month to respond to the complaint and either make more explicit what information it is collecting or at least show the regulator a plan of what it intends to do.

If it fails to do either of these things, the regulator could either fine Facebook or take other measures against it. ®

Bootnote

The Korean Communications Standards Commission homepage starts with a message from its chairman: "I would like to express my sincere appreciation and warm greeting to you for visiting the Korea Communications Standards Commission with love and interest." A cheery welcome on a cold winter's morning.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email
Court wanted peek as related to US investigation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.