SEOUL, Feb.22 (Korea Bizwire) – In the first half of the year, it is expected that individuals will be give the option to have unwanted internet information deleted upon request.
The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) announced that it is preparing guidelines to provide the ‘right to be forgotten’.
The ‘right to be forgotten’ is a concept practiced among countries in the EU since the mid 2000s. The matter was brought to light when Spanish lawyer Mario Gonzales won a suit against Google in 2014. Gonzales filed a suit against Google as an article about him putting his house up for auction due to financial difficulties 16 years earlier kept showing up in search results.
However, some are opposed to the idea as the privacy protection provided through the ‘right to be forgotten’ could restrict the freedom of speech and the right-to-know and also become a form of internet censorship.
The new KCC guidelines will include an option to allow individuals to ask portal sites or managers of internet cafés to delete unwanted information or posts related to them.
‘Unwanted information’ refers to legal information, as invasion of privacy, defamation, provocative images or videos, X-rated content and classified national information are already subject to legal restrictions.
Media articles are excluded from the content that is permitted to be removed as there are separate legal measures that can be taken for situations involving editorial content.
Public figures who require public surveillance such as politicians and authorities are excluded. Posts related to research, studies and the public interest are also excluded.
In other words, the guidelines for the ‘right to be forgotten’ only apply to legal posts about common people.
However, detailed standards will be decided after public hearings, so that ideas from various interest groups can be taken into consideration.
The scope of the act is controversial. Authorities have to decide whether to only allow individuals to request that their own posts be deleted, or also permit the deletion of posts that are written by others. Authorities will also have to decide if family members should be able to request deletion for each other, or if the requests should only be limited to an individual.
There is also the issue of whether to establish an organization that judges and deletes content, or to let service providers decide on their own based on the guidelines.
Officials at the KCC comment that since the ‘right to be forgotten’ is controversial, they will adopt guidelines that allow voluntary restraints.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)