Saturday, December 24, 2011

South Korea dropping real-name internet ID system

The Korea Times carried a report today about progress in overhauling the online ID system.  Until now, Korea has been one of the few countries in the world to require real-name identification in order to sign up for internet services. The country’s top portals and game companies plan to stop requesting resident registration numbers to subscribe to their sites. They will also delete the registration number data of the users they have. The country took the first step toward this end in the wake of serious privacy infringements and phishing crimes here. Nexon, the top online game company, announced Wednesday that it won’t store the users’ resident registration numbers. It follows the same decision by Naver and Daum, the country’s top portals. NCsoft, another giant online game company and Nate have already announced this course of action. Unlike in other countries, large websites here have demanded people’s resident registration number to be able to sign up. The request stemmed from the real name system on the Internet adopted by the government in July 2007. The easiest way for websites to confirm whether subscribers were using their real names was to request their resident number and see if it matched.

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