[Full Text] Consumer Privacy Will Be Daum Kakao's Top Priority | Be Korea-savvy

[Full Text] Consumer Privacy Will Be Daum Kakao’s Top Priority

Thank you for coming here on such short notice. I’d like to say in this opportunity to our users that we are deeply sorry for what has happened. It was largely due to my ignorance and inexperience in the matter of data privacy. I thought, rather arrogantly, complying with laws and regulations while trying to strengthen data security with technical means would be all that it takes to protect our users’ privacy. I apologize again that I didn’t realize the real concerns of our KakaoTalk users early on. 

In order not to make the same mistake again, we at Daum Kakao will institute a strict policy to put personal privacy over any other issues. More specifically, we will introduce measures as follows: 

First, we have not responded to the government’s warrant to submit more conversation data since October 7 and won’t do so ever from now on. Second, we will soon form an information protection advisory council consisting of external experts to establish internal procedures to answer to search warrants without either violating the law or infringing on the user’s personal privacy. In addition, we will discuss with government agencies to create procedures for notifying users when there are instances of personal information breach in the process of complying with search warrants, no matter how small the disclosure is. 

Third, Daum Kakao will publish transparency reports regularly, with the first issue to be available by this year’s end. Fourth, I’d like to tell you what we will improve in terms of personal privacy protection: 

(1)   Already, we have shortened the number of days KakaoTalk dialogs are stored in our servers to 2-3 days from 5-7 days. All the data stored in the servers will be encrypted within the end of this year.

(2)   We will soon introduce the privacy mode in the KakaoTalk service. Under the privacy mode, all conversations will be encrypted and all incoming messages will be evaporated once viewed by the user without being stored in the server. Under this mode, we will make sure it is impossible to extract conversation threads from the server by introducing the end-to-end encryption technology that allows the smartphone terminal to store the encryption key. 

The one-on-one conversation room and group discussion room will be supported with the privacy mode within the first and second quarter of next year, respectively. The feature not allowing messages already viewed to be stored in the server will be available in the third quarter next year. If there is anything else that we feel needs to be improved, we will do so immediately. 

KakaoTalk has grown by leaps and bounds based on the trust of our users. I am fully aware that it takes our utmost effort to gain back the user trust. With the recent incident as a painful lesson, we will try to change ourselves fundamentally and become the world’s best company in protecting users’ privacy. We will take privacy more seriously than anything else. We are truly sorry for our users for what has happened for the past few weeks. 

– Lee Sir-goo, Daum Kakao CEO

Will Kakao news shake up the local news industry? (image: Kakao Talk)

Daum Kakao said it would stop honoring warrants from the government prosecutors asking to access the information exchanged on the platform. (image: Kakao Talk)


Lee Sir-goo, CEO of Kakao

Lee Sir-goo, co-CEO of Daum Kakao

SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Korea Bizwire) – Lee Sirgoo, co-CEO of Daum Kakao, South Korea’s No. 1 mobile messaging service, held a press conference on Monday (October 13) in which he said the company would make sure that consumer privacy would be its top priority and stop honoring warrants from the government prosecutors asking to access the information of its users exchanged on the mobile messaging application. 

The Korea Bizwire acquired the full text of Mr. Lee’s press conference announcement and we translated it so that the foreign audience might better understand the situation and give a clue of how the company can cope with the controversy down the road. 

By Sean Chung (schung10@koreabizwire.com)

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