South Korea fined Facebook 139 billion for illegally sharing user information

On November 25, Korean authorities announced a penalty of 6.7 billion won (nearly 139 billion dong) on ​​Facebook, for transferring information of at least 3.3 million users of this country to other companies.

The Korea Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) said Facebook violated the law by providing personal information of at least 3.3 million users of this country to other companies without consent. The behavior took place from May 2012 to June 2018. This is the Commission’s first punishment for Facebook since its inception in August this year.

According to PIPC, when users log into another company’s services with Facebook accounts, their friends’ information is also shared with those companies illegally. Information includes username, address, birthday, work experience, country of origin and relationship status. The amount of information shared cannot be calculated accurately because Facebook does not provide relevant documents.

Considering that information can be transferred to up to 10,000 different businesses, the PIPC said, there is a high chance that a large amount of personal data has been shared. The commission will assign Facebook Ireland – in charge of Facebook’s operations in Korea during the wrongdoings – to the prosecutors for criminal investigation.

Facebook Ireland’s director of user privacy could face up to five years imprisonment or 50 million won if found guilty of violating South Korean personal information laws. In addition, PIPC revealed that Facebook did not cooperate with the investigation because submitting incomplete and erroneous documents.

Also on November 25, the Commission fined Facebook another 66 million won for submitting the wrong documents.

In 2018, the Korean Communications Commission began investigating Facebook before transferring the task to PIPC.

Du Lam (According to Yonhap)

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