In 2008, the personal information of about 10 million people is leaked from a online shopping mall.
Another 20 million customers fall victim in 2009 and 2010 when a total of 25 online shopping malls are hacked into.
And since Koreans are required to provide their social security numbers, birth dates and other personal info to sign up for membership, all of it is exposed.
Foreigners don't have the same problem, because they don't have Korean social security numbers, but that presents another issue for them, as they're unable to shopping online without such a number.
To combat data leaks and increase the accessibility to online shopping malls for foreigners,.. the government has decided to do away with a number of measures by the first half of next year.
Providing social security numbers will no longer be a requirement for Koreans when making purchases online, and foreigners will be able to purchase goods by verifying their identity through credit cards.
"We are going to devise new regulations for core growth areas like e-commerce. To do so, we are going to set up a panel of people from different fields of expertise."
By breaking down the barriers to online shopping for foreigners, the government expects exports in the sector to increase to 300 billion U.S. dollars by 2017, up from about 24 million last year.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.
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