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Press releases and law firm thought leadership

This page is dedicated to keeping readers informed of the latest news and thought leadership articles from law firms across the globe.

If your firm wishes to publish press releases or articles, please contact Shehab Khurshid on +44 (0) 207 396 5689 or


Korean data law amendments pose new constraints for cross-border online services and data flows

Under amendments to IT Networks Act, set to take effect in March 2019, offshore online businesses, meeting thresholds of nexus to Korea, will be required to designate local agent for regulatory oversight purposes.

Amended rules will also newly restrict onward transfer (to additional countries) of personal information by offshore parties, and, on a reciprocity basis, allow regulators to restrict transfers of personal information to countries that likewise restrict outflows of such data.

[South Korea] Location information law amended to ease requirement for tracking of objects

Under changes to Location Information Act, to take effect in October 2018, businesses will be allowed to track goods after obtaining registration instead of license.

[South Korea] Amendments to Korean telecom license framework taking shape

  • Legislators have put forward an advanced draft of amendments to the Telecommunications Business Act, Korea’s main telecom statute.

  • The draft amendments, proposed on March 29, 2018, would finalize changes anticipated since August 2017, so as to relax license requirements and foreign ownership restrictions for telecom carriers.

  • Amendments seem likely to pass within 2018, with effect 6 months following passage.

  • Various standards will depend on further regulations, for which Ministry drafting is expected in coming months.

Korea unveils proposed changes to telecom license framework

  • Proposed changes to the Telecommunications Business Act would simplify and significantly relax license requirements, and ease foreign ownership restrictions for telecom carriers.

  • The amendments also aim to require common carriers, especially mobiles, to offer a more affordable consumer telecom rate structure, under standards to be decided.

  • The amendments seem likely to pass largely as-is by 1Q 2018, possibly coming into effect by mid-2018. A number of standards will depend on further regulations, for which drafts should issue in the coming months.

Korean tax authorities impose KRW 300 billion of withholding taxes on software license fees, looking

  • Deeming Oracle US the beneficial owner, the Tax Tribunal upheld assessments against Oracle Korea on license fees paid to Ireland affiliate going back to 2008.
  • Tax judgment is now on appeal by Oracle to the administrative law court.

The Korean Tax Tribunal has affirmed National Tax Service (NTS) assessments totaling some KRW 300 billion (approx. USD 260 million) against Oracle Korea, as withholding taxes on software license fees paid to an Ireland affiliate (Oracle Ireland), on the basis that beneficial ownership was with Oracle Corporation (Oracle US). The NTS, in 2011 and 2015, imposed the withholding taxes based on the Korea-US tax treaty, which calls for a 15% withholding rate as opposed to no withholding under the Korea-Ireland tax treaty. The Tax Tribunal has upheld the NTS assessments, citing among other things Oracle US’s ownership of the software and control over the income, as contrasted with the minor role of Oracle Ireland.


Korean appeals court orders Google to disclose to Korean users what personal information Google passed to U.S. government.

A Korean appellate court has ordered Google Korea along with its U.S. parent Google Inc. (together, “Google”) to disclose to users of the Google search service, when they so request, the scope and status of the users’ personal information (including search records) that Google has provided to the U.S. government. The decision of the Seoul High Court, handed down in February (released in March) 2017, concluded that, notwithstanding the choice of California law in the terms of service, Google’s use and handling of information was subject to rights of the local users under Korean law, mandating disclosure to them of what was passed to third parties including the U.S. authorities – except to the extent the disclosure is prohibited under U.S. law.

[South Korea] Food and Drug Safety Ministry Expands Its Regulatory Scope to Include Wellness...

Korea’s Food and Drug Safety Ministry Expands Its Regulatory Scope to Include Wellness Products

The convergence of two fast growing industries – the healthcare industry with the information & communications technology (“ICT”) industry – has led to the introduction of new products and services that include health-related functions (“wellness products”).

[South Korea] Newly Issued Online Personal Information Processing Guidelines

By announcing the Online Personal Information Processing Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) on November 12, 2014, the Korea Communications Commission (“KCC”) has further clarified the standards for (1) collecting minimum personal information, (2) destroying personal information, and (3) obtaining consent, as required under the Act on the Promotion of Information and Communications Network Use and Information Protection (the “Network Act”). The Guidelines contain the following key points:

Recent Issues of Data Protection Regulation in Korea

The Personal Information Protection Act ("PIPA") was enacted as a general law of personal information in March 2011 to fulfill the need for presiding rules to govern personal information protection. In fact, there have already been a number of special laws governing personal information protection in various special areas and cases, such as The Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization Information Protection ("Network Act") governing information and communications services, and the Use and Protection of Credit Information Act ("Credit Information Act") governing personal credit information. Special laws prevail over the general law, when in conflict with individual articles of the general law.

South Korea: Recent Developments in Broadcasting Regulations

Recent regulatory developments in the ever-changing broadcasting environment are summarized below.


Further Korean Data Privacy Rules Announced

Draft regulations in follow-up to Personal Information Protection Act clarify scope and implementation of new requirements.

Further to the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), the comprehensive data privacy law passed in March 2011 which will take effect on September 30, 2011,1 the government has unveiled draft regulations to flesh out a number of the applicable requirements and standards. The drafts of the Enforcement Decree and the Enforcement Regulations, published on May 24, 2011, include significant requirements relating to data security, which, like other provisions, apply to any entity that handles personal information files for work purposes (referred to as “data handlers” below). Also now spelled out are various details concerning consent requirements, website sign-up rules, video camera restrictions, use of third party data handlers, reporting of leaks, and collective dispute mediation.

The draft regulations are subject to review, but seem likely to be adopted without much alteration before September 2011. Following is a summary of the main provisions.

1 See report on PIPA, including summary, in BKL Newsletter Spring 2011,
at pages 10-11.

South Korea: Strengthened Regulations on the Use of Personal Information by IT Service Providers

The draft amendment to the Enforcement Decree of the Network Act (the "Amendment") was recently announced, which sets forth details of the new obligations and scope of the amended Act on Promotion of Information and Telecommunications Network Utilization and Information Protection (the "Network Act") that focuses on reinforcement of privacy and data protection and is scheduled to take effect on August 18, 2012.

Revised Korean Privacy Law Effective August 18, 2012

1) The Korean government plans to apply these changes to information & communications service providers first through this Revised Act (defined below), and then subsequently expand the application to the offline sectors through updating each relevant law such as the Personal Information Protection Act.

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Dinner with GC -
Korea 2018

  • China and Hong Kong GC Powerlist

    In May, The Legal 500 and GC Magazine added another country to the list of destinations for their exclusive Dinner with GC series, as South Korea’s elite in-house counsel came together at Mugunghwa in Seoul, for a closed-door discussion on the realities of the role.

    Dinner with GC - Korea 2018