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Title The KCC Strengthens User Protection Measures Regarding Digital Platform Service Failures
Date 2023-10-05 Read 4125
The Korea Communications Commission (KCC, Chairman Lee Dong-Kwan) strengthens the obligation of service suspension notification to protect users from confusion and damage resulting from digital platform service failure and pushes forward with system improvement, including through introducing a collective dispute mediation system, enhancing unfair terms and conditions, and crafting user protection guideline for service failure.

The KCC announced the Measures to Strengthen User Protection Regarding Digital Platform Service Failure containing the provisions above on October 5, through the plenary meeting. The measure is prompted by the fact that the current system has limitations in providing adequate remedies for significant damage, as exemplified by an incident on October 15 last year when Kakao's service failed due to a fire at the data center, resulting in widespread damage.

Value-added telecommunications business operators should notify users when the free or paid service is suspended for more than two hours (previously more than four hours for paid service suspension) to prevent damages caused by service failure. (efforts to amend the Enforcement Decree of the Telecommunications Business Act)

※Two hours are given considering the overall situation, including time taken to understand a cause and as there are few legislation cases over the obligation of overseas business operators notifying users apart from reporting to the government in case of telecommunications crash to some extent.

Excessive exemption from liability for damages will be limited to practical remedies, and vague terms and standards for liability in terms and conditions will be clearer.

The KCC will encourage major platform business operators to improve the provision that currently only compensates for damages in cases of gross negligence to include compensation for all negligence and amend the provision that currently exempts liability for data center or DDoS-related disruptions as force majeure to make it liable in cases of negligence. (recommendation to improve terms and conditions) In addition, it will continue reviewing legislation improvement measures to reinforce remedies for damage caused by service failure.

The commission forges ahead with a collective dispute mediation system that allows a large number of users or groups to apply collectively for swift and economic remedies, replacing the existing method where individual users affected by the same service interruptions must seek redress separately. (efforts to amend the Telecommunications Business Act)

It also assesses the user protection performance of large digital platforms to boost user protection and service stability and comes up with a guideline that contains detailed responses, methods, and procedures that will be taken by both the private sector and the government to protect users. (user protection performance assessment ongoing since June 2023/the guideline crafting underway)

The KCC plans to pursue follow-up measures, including the amendments to the Telecommunications Business Act, without delay, while operating guidelines based on self-regulatory standards to address the time required for these amendments. Additionally, it will employ available policy tools, including encouraging business operators’ participation by recommending improvements to terms and conditions and performing compliance checks.

Chairman Lee Dong-kwan stated, “As digital platform services expand their influence in various aspects of citizens' daily lives, corresponding social responsibilities must be fulfilled.” He added, “The KCC will do its utmost to prevent user harm caused by disruptions in digital platform services and provide practical remedies.”
File 231005 (보도자료) 방통위, 디지털플랫폼 서비스 장애 관련 이용자 보호 강화 추진.hwpx 231005 (보도자료) 방통위, 디지털플랫폼 서비스 장애 관련 이용자 보호 강화 추진.hwpx
20231005_News_Release_digital platform.docx 20231005_News_Release_digital platform.docx
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