Korea Communications Commission (KCC) Chairman Lee Hyo-seong visited the EU headquarters in Brussels on November 20 (local time) and met with European Commissioner for Justice Věra Jourová. They discussed cooperation in the field of personal information protection and information distribution before releasing a joint statement.
According to the EU’s personal information protection guidelines enacted in 1995, personal information of individual EU citizens cannot be transferred to any other region and the transfer is permitted only when the EU makes an adequacy decision, that is, only when the EU determines that the destination of the transfer has the same level of personal information protection as itself.
The EU has made no adequacy decision with regard to South Korea. However, the EU made a positive comment with regard to the issue during their meeting. At present, South Korean companies transferring customer information from the EU region to South Korea sign business-specific contracts, which require screening by individual EU member countries that is time-consuming and costly in most cases.
“Once the EU makes an adequacy decision on South Korea, South Korean companies can transfer the personal information and use it for their business without particular procedure,” the KCC explained. The KCC is aiming to obtain the decision in or before May next year.