By Kang Hyun-kyung
The government will issue certifications to private and public companies that effectively comply with regulations to enhance personal privacy information, the Ministry of Security and Public Administration said Sunday.
This move has come about following the increasing trend of people falling victim to scams as a result of leaks of their personal information by companies they have transactions with.
Companies and organizations can file applications for the certifications with the National Information Society Agency (NISA) from Nov. 28.
Upon receiving their applications, NISA will assess if the applicants effectively fulfill their duties stipulated under the Privacy Protection Law.
The agency will take a close look at the firms' privacy protection policies and what kinds of efforts they have in place to prevent leaks of private information of their clients.
Self-employed people will be required to meet 35 obligations set by NISA. Small- and medium-sized firms are required to meet 52 items, and large businesses or state-run firms with 65.
Firms or individuals that pass the test and granted certifications are obligated to undergo annual inspection from NISA to make sure that they are consistently complying with the rules.
The certifications will be effective for three years. Once the first three years ends, firms can renew their certification status with NISA's endorsement.
The ministry said that both companies and their clients will benefit from the certification program.
"Companies can gain trust from their customers with the certification program, and customers can find reliable entities more easily," a ministry official said.
Nearly 200,000 mobile phone users' personal information was illegally accessed last year through the connivance of some unscrupulous staff of affiliated firms of the nation's two largest mobile phone companies, KT and SKT.