South Korea immigration shares travellers' facial data without consent

Occurred: October 2021

Documents released by South Korea's government revealed the country's Ministry of Justice was sharing the facial images and personal details of travellers using Seoul's Incheon International Airport with local commercial companies.

The data involved approximately 170 million travellers, and was obtained without their consent. It was being shared to help develop a government system for screening and identifying travellers.

South Korea's Personal Information Protection Act determined that the sharing of sensitive personal data with third parties requires the specific and separate consent of the data subject.

Local civil liberty activists threatened to take the government to court on the issue.

System 🤖

Operator: Ministry of Justice (MOJ); Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT); Incheon International Airport
Developer: CUbox  
Country: South Korea
Sector: Govt - immigration
Purpose: Identify travellers; Predict security breaches
Technology: Facial recognition
Issue: Privacy; Dual/multi-use
Transparency: Governance; Privacy