With the country still in shock after the personal information of some 20 million clients was stolen from local banks and credit card firms in Korea, the heads of the country's financial watchdogs appeared before a parliamentary policy committee on Thursday to present their plans for addressing the data breach.
Choi Soo-hyun, the governor of the Financial Supervisory Service said more than two million cardholders have canceled their credit cards or applied for new ones since Monday.
He also said some 25 million people, equivalent to 28 percent of the country's economically active population, have logged on to the websites of the three card firms -- KB Kookmin, NH Nonghyup and Lotte -- to check whether their personal information had been breached.
"The three card firms are currently running a joint, 24-hour hotline in conjunction with the Financial Supervisory Service. For now, there haven't been any additional secondary damages."
Shin Je-yoon, the chairman of the Financial Services Commission, said the regulator will strengthen monitoring of staff at financial firms who deal with data protection and their contractors, enhance regulations on the sharing of customer information between affiliates, and consider whether top executives at financial firms should face suspension or dismissal.
"We are coming up with measures to levy fines of up to one percent of the revenue of financial institutions if they use customer data to sell their financial products."
In addition, a task force headed by the FSC vice chairman is planning to demand each financial institution submit customer data protection plans by the end of January.
"The task force will announce its own customer protection plan next month and the FSC said it will submit revisions to various consumer financial protection acts to the National Assembly later in the month.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News."