|Meta's logo is seen on a smartphone in front of displayed logos of Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus in this picture taken Oct. 28, 2021. Reuters-Yonhap|
By Park Jae-hyuk
The Personal Information Protection Commission said Friday that it takes this issue seriously, hinting at possible sanctions on the social media operator.
Since May, the U.S. firm has been seeking to transfer the personal data of its Korea-based users to other countries and track their location data. Although the company had initially asked its users to agree to the new terms and conditions by July 26, it delayed the deadline recently until Aug. 9.
In Korea, companies can refuse to provide goods and services only if their users disagree with the collection of the "minimum necessary" level of personal information, according to the Personal Information Protection Act.
Rep. Jang Hye-yeong of the minor opposition Justice Party said in the forum that Facebook Korea had declined to clarify its stance on this issue during a meeting with her on Friday morning. According to the lawmaker, the Korean subsidiary of Meta claimed that its new policy is legitimate and commendable, as it is intended to collect personal information more transparently.
Lawyers at the forum, however, viewed the update as illegal.
Amid the growing controversy, some users here began threatening to boycott Facebook and Instagram. They especially pointed out the fact that Facebook was fined 6.7 billion won ($5 million) in 2020 for sharing the personal information of 3.3 million Korea-based users to a third party. The company was also ordered last year to pay 300,000 won to each victim.