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Personal data infringement on rise: watchdog

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, Jan. 22 (Yonhap) -- The number of reported cases of personal information infringement has jumped 10-fold in 10 years, data showed Wednesday, stoking privacy concerns.

Some 177,000 cases of personal information leakage or privacy infringement, such as illegal usage of resident registration numbers, were reported to authorities in 2013, compared with 17,000 in 2003, data showed.

The data was compiled by the Korea Communications Commission, the country's telecom and broadcasting watchdog, and unveiled by a local civic group, Center For Freedom Of Information And Transparent Society.

"Private information is often leaked to various places as (companies) provide the information to third parties," the group said in a statement, citing a recent massive leak as an example.

The financial authorities announced on Sunday that personal data of some 20 million bank clients, including bank account numbers, addresses and credit ratings, was recently leaked.

Part of the leak occurred at local banks that shared their customer data with their affiliated credit card firms, such as KB Kookmin, Nonghyup and Lotte.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/140121/personal-data-infringement-rise-watchdog