SEOUL, Nov. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — A news report that security of millions of smartphones has been compromised by flashlight apps has caused a stir. To this, the Korea Communications Commission immediately responded that it would investigate the matter and impose sanctions if deemed necessary.
An official with the regulatory body said on November 6, “We were just informed that some flashlight apps are taking personal information of smartphone users without their consent. We will soon set out on investigating the issue. If necessary, we will impose penalties to violating parties.”
Another Korea Communications Commission official said, “The issues related to personal information breach are the responsibility of our commission. But if the codes that secretly take personal information are found to be malicious codes, then we will work with the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning to determine what to do.”
Earlier on the 5th, MBC-TV reported that some of the well-known flashlight apps take personal information such as the user’s location, USIM chip ID number, and personal schedules as soon as the user turns on the app. According to the report, the information is handed over to ad agencies and telemarketing firms for a fee.
For example, “Flashlight Brightest Free,” an American app with the download number over 100 million worldwide, has 1.4 million domestic users. It had been sanctioned by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission late last year for violating personal information security including collection of the user’s location information without consent and selling the information to third-party vendors.
By M.H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)