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“Korea Swimming against Tide in Digital Age”
Criticism on Korean IE Use
“Korea Swimming against Tide in Digital Age”
  • By matthew
  • November 8, 2013, 06:02
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The Washington Post (WP) reported that South Korea is one of the few countries heavily reliant on Microsoft Internet Explorer. 

In a November 6 article posted on its website, WP said that Google’s Chrome and Apple's Safari are dominating the global web browser market, but the outmoded Internet Explorer (IE) is still quite popular in digitally savvy South Korea. 

The browser’s popularity is reported to be attributable to a governmental decision made in 1999. Under the laws on Internet security, which passed 14 years ago, IE is the only option for online shopping and Internet banking in Korea because most Korean web sites must use Active X controls from IE for financial transactions online.

The article pointed out, “The Korean government was the first to encourage online shopping and banking. IE, which was designed for Internet safety, is the reason why Korea is trapped in a time warp.” 

However, it was also reported that Koreans are more vocal about the regulations. Many people are raising questions about Active X controls, since the method makes one more vulnerable to hacking attacks. On top of that, errors are more likely to occur due to software crashes. Thus, more people are in favor of loosening the regulations. 

“We are behind the times, clinging to the old method,” said Rep. Lee Jong-gul of the main opposition Democratic Party. The lawmaker is pushing ahead with a revision to the Electronic Financial Transaction Act aimed at making the mandatory use of digital certificates illegal for banking and financial transactions online.