Thursday, April 24, 2008

South Korea - Hanaro staff charged

Hanaro Telecom Execs in Mass Indictment

The Cyber Crime Investigation Division of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency on Wednesday indicted without arrest 22 current and former executives of Hanaro Telecom, including its former chief executive officer. They are accused of handing over personal information of customers without their consent to telemarketing companies. Hanaro argues it was specified in the small print that customers’ personal information can be used for marketing purposes.

According to the police, from January 2006 to December 2007, Hanaro handed over the addresses, social security numbers and telephone numbers of 6 million customers to over 1,000 telemarketing firms. The information of 490,000 people was used even after they cancelled their contracts. The police also said Hanaro provided personal information of 410,000 customers to a bank. The bank used the information to promote its credit card from October 2006 to May 2007.

The company said while the police argues the names of the 1,000 companies should have been listed in the contract with customers, the company thought a general statement indicating that personal information can be used would be enough.

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