Subscriber data (also known as communications data) refers to a subscribers’ personal information such as names, resident registration numbers, addresses, phone numbers, user IDs, etc. Article 83 paragraph 3 of the Korean ‘Telecommunications Business Act’ allows investigative agencies to [request] subscriber data for investigation, trial, to carry out a sentence, or to prevent harm to national security, and thus have been used as grounds to legitimize the collection of subscriber data without a warrant.
Open Net filed a lawsuit for damages against the state for citizens whose subscriber data was warrantlessly accessed in 2016, and now the lawsuit is pending at the Supreme Court. At the trial court, Open Net filed a motion for production of documents to access the investigative agencies’ requests for subscriber data, which was accepted. However, the decision was reversed at the Supreme Court on the defendant’s appeal to the motion, thereby making it impossible to determine the legitimacy of the investigative agencies’ collection of subscriber data.
With more than 8.9 million people’s subscriber data being provided to investigative agencies yearly, Open Net calls on the Supreme Court to reverse the lower court’s decision.
For more information, please read the Korean original here.