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

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC | View firm profile

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

Korean National Assembly has passed amendments to the Act on Protection, Use
Etc. of Location Information (the Location
Information Act
or LIA) that
will soon allow the online tracking – collection and handling of location data
via telecom network – of objects (as distinct from location data of
individuals) upon obtaining only a fairly straightforward registration for
“location information business”. Under the current LIA, in order to collect
location data of objects – as well as location data of individuals – a business
must first obtain a location information businesslicense from the Korea Communications Commission (KCC), which is a
quite involved process and subject to significant agency discretion. Under the
amended LIA, online collecting location data of objects, as such, will require
only the simpler, straightforward process of registration with the KCC, though
collecting location data of people will remain subject to the license
requirement. Further, the content of the application for registration will be
streamlined, as compared with an existing procedure for “location based
services” registration.

amendments, passed on March 30, 2018 and promulgated on April 17, 2018, will
take effect as from October 18, 2018. Under one part of the amended provisions,
certain types of enterprises, such as small start-up companies, will be
permitted to engage in object tracking without registration for a grace period
of one-month after the start of such business.

immediate impact of the amendments may be muted, in that at present the
large-scale telecom-enabled tracking of objects tends to involve, at the same
time, location data of individuals, for example in the case of smartphones.
Those types of businesses have required a location information business
license, and they will continue to require such a license in any event, in
respect of the location data of individuals.

However, the amended LIA will, for example, present a
significantly easier environment for the possibility of drone delivery systems.
(Indeed, parameters for distribution by drone were mentioned among the
rationales for the amendments.) While under the current LIA the online tracking
of drone deliveries would require the cumbersome process of a license from the
KCC, starting in October of this year the delivery method would entail only a
registration. There is also, certainly, a range of potential implications for
IoT business models.



More from Bae, Kim & Lee LLC