Korean Prosecutors Accessing Naver Users’ Private Data

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5 August 2015. The leading South Korean search engine Naver has released a transparency report revealing that requests from South Korean prosecutors to access user data have increased by 18% compared to 2 years ago. In the first 6 months of this year, it received just over 5,000 court orders asking for personal user information such as IDs, sign-in records and dialogues, compared to around 4,300 requests in the same period 2 years earlier. It complied with 86% of requests, including 14 requests to wiretap communications between suspected criminals. The revelations come amidst growing discontent in South Korea about online surveillance undermining privacy. Naver’s main rival in the South Korean search engine market, Daum Kakao, recently announced that it would no longer grant prosecution requests to wiretap its users, after a public backlash following the publication of its own transparency report.

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