SEOUL, Oct. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — The National Human Rights Commission of Korea has on Tuesday ruled that distributing personal information of a COVID-19 patient during the quarantine process is a violation of the patient’s right of publicity, right to reputation and privacy.
The individual in question, an employee at a local department store, was infected with the coronavirus in May of last year.
City authorities revealed the exact location of his workplace, along with the information that he visited a club in Seoul’s Itaewon neighborhood seven days before the symptoms arose.
The state human rights watchdog decided that people could have easily tracked him down through media reports which revealed the name of his workplace. Also, he was the only person who had been infected with COVID-19 in the area at that time.
“This case amounts to a significant problem because his visit to a club in Itaewon was revealed in a situation where his identity could be exposed, which is a serious human rights violation,” the commission said.
At that time, the media made aggressive reports on Itaewon club visitors, linking them to certain sexual orientations.
“There has been an excessive leak of one’s privacy which has subjected the person to public criticism, which is why we believe that the act of releasing the information of the victim cannot be justified,” the commission said.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)