SEOUL, March 24 (Korea Bizwire) — The Korea National Council of Consumer Organizations has sent a letter of inquiry to the OECD to investigate Tesco-owned supermarket Homeplus over allegations that the company sold customers’ private information to insurance firms, according to a statement on March 23.
The council claimed that Homeplus and its parent company Tesco violated OECD guidelines related to the protection of privacy and trans-border flows of personal data. The guidelines stipulate that the collection of personal data should only occur with the knowledge or consent of the data subject, and any personal data not fulfilling the original purpose of the data collection should be deleted. Korea established its own privacy laws based on the OECD guidelines in 2011.
Homeplus required customers to divulge their personal information in order to participate in a giveaway promotion, and is accused of selling the acquired data to several insurance companies.
The council said that although Homeplus claimed that it had informed customers that their personal information would be provided to a third party, the promotion took place in a crowded environment where customers could not take the time to read all of the fine print on the promotional pamphlets.
The council added that agreeing to provide personal data to be shared with a third party does not equate to consent for the sale of that data.
By J. W. Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)