SEOUL, Aug. 21 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s major telecom operators are expanding cooperation with financial firms for data-based services, industry officials said Friday, as they seek new businesses based on their troves of user data after changes to the country’s data privacy laws.
Earlier this month, amendments to the Personal Information Protection Act came into force, allowing companies to flexibly utilize user data that have pseudonymized personally identifiable information.
Mobile carriers have joined hands with financial firms to develop new services based on such user data to boost their non-mobile business.
Top mobile carrier SK Telecom Co. has partnered with local credit card firm Shinhan Card Co. to utilize their data for tourism services.
The two companies agreed to merge their pseudonymized user data to develop more accurate tourism information, such as most visited destinations, establishments users spend the most at and most-used mobile applications.
The telecom operator will merge its base station access data with Shinhan Card’s credit card transaction data to analyze tourist spending habits in the southern port city of Busan, according to the Financial Security Institute.
The two companies said they plan to provide the analyzed data to regional governments to boost tourism amid the pandemic, and expand cooperation in other sectors such as retail.
Earlier this week, telecom giant KT Corp. joined hands with Woori Financial Group to develop new financial and telecommunication products that better cater to user needs based on their data.
The two firms, which hold major stakes in internet-only bank K-Bank through subsidiaries, have also agreed to collaborate in artificial-intelligence and cloud-based services.
No. 3 telecom operator LG Uplus Corp. has also partnered with Shinhan Bank and local IT services firm CJ OliveNetworks Co. earlier this year to share their data, develop new data-based services and conduct joint marketing based on the companies’ shared data.
The mobile carrier has also partnered with LG Group’s IT services affiliate LG CNS and the Financial Security Institute for similar data-based collaborations.
Amid the data drive from telecom operators, civic groups, including the progressive People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, have expressed concerns over potential misuse of personal data for commercial purposes.
South Korea has launched the Personal Information Protection Commission to monitor such violations.