South Korea Releases Guidance on Right to Be Forgotten

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) announced on April 29 that individuals in South Korea will be able to request website administrators and search engine operators remove certain digital content of personal information as early as June 2016.

The KCC released the  “Guidelines on the Right to Request Access Restrictions on Personal Internet Postings.”  This guidance enables consumers to request that search engines and website operators restrict access and ultimately remove online information (including blogs, pictures and videos) that individual data subjects cannot delete themselves.  The guidance states that data subjects’ applications to remove content should include URL links, evidence of personal information of the data subject and reasons for the request to remove.  The guidance provides for the owner of the restricted postings to file an opposition with supporting evidence.  The guidance also provides that a family member or someone else can be designated to act on individuals’ right to be forgotten after death.

The guidelines apply to Korean companies and to foreign Internet companies providing Korean-language services for South Koreans.  The guidelines take effect June 2016.