[ENGLISH / PDF] K-Identification and Human Rights amidst COVID-19
The crisis of COVID-19 has continued for more than a year. Although it is clear that COVID-19 is a crisis to the right of health in society as a whole, human rights activists have paid attention to the reality where more human rights violations occurred to those vulnerable to the abuse of human rights.
Korea’s so-called “K-Disease Control” policy is characterized by its sophisticated tracing based on digital identification. Sometimes, group-specific disease control policies have been implemented. However, these advanced identification, tracing, and group differentiation may threaten the human rights of those vulnerable to social discrimination, such as sexual minorities, migrants, and the homeless. Moreover, the workers and people’s rights to protest continue to be suppressed in the face of this crisis of survival. Rally participants are punished and organizers are arrested. The Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act generally treats confirmed patients and their contacts as criminals.
This issue report contains the contents of the reality experienced by Korean activists who have been contemplating COVID-19 and human rights issues in the fields of sexual minorities, migrants, health care, homeless people, demonstrations, and the law in a trace-based disease control environment.
This report is sponsored by Human Rights Foundation SARAM. We would like to share awareness of issues with human rights activists at home and abroad and initiate social dialogues for disease control policies and social solidarity that guarantees human rights even in the midst of a global pandemic.
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Exposure and Discrimination of Sexual Minorities
Discrimination and Exclusion of Foreigners and Migrants
Tracing and Group Management Issues in Disease Control Policies
Discrimination and Exclusion of the Homeless
Restrictions on Freedom of Assembly and Demonstration, and Tracing Participants
Digital Tracing that Promotes Overcriminalization
[ENGLISH / PDF] Epidemic Intelligence Support System and Automated Processing of Personal Data in South Korea
In South Korea, the Epidemic Intelligence Support System (EISS) has officially been in operation since March 26, 2020 to automate the epidemiological investigation procedure of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) after the pandemic. The EISS aims to automatically analyze the movement routes of confirmed patients by collecting and processing personal data from various public and private institutions. However, there is no provision of law planned to limit the analysis and prediction of sensitive personal data that becomes increasingly precise, the purpose and processing of the system, or ensure the rights of the data subjects.
The structure of the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) in Korea has not regulated “automated personal data processing” differently from general personal data processing, such as written documents. The problem is that with the development of digital communication technology, a plethora of more various types of personal data are being processed at a faster speed. As AI technology is applied to personal data processing methods in recent years, we are moving towards automated evaluation, analysis, prediction as well as decision-making. Compared to the methods in which personal data was processed manually or through paper documents, this change in personal data processing methods has a significant impact on the fundamental rights of data subjects, such as the right to the protection of personal data. Nevertheless, there is not enough discussion on the legal regulations.
The civil society in Korea has called the problematic human rights in such automated personal data processing “digital rights” and has demanded that they be guaranteed as fundamental rights protected by the Constitution. Chapter 2 outlines the progress of how Korean society developed by raising questions whenever the impact of the personal data processing methods on fundamental rights increased. Chapter 3 examines international norms related to automated personal data processing, such as profiling, and solely automated decision-making. Chapter 4 looks into problems with the EISS as a profiling system for sensitive data. Chapter 5 presents a legal regulation idea for the EISS to protect the rights of data subjects, and we concludes with Chapter 6.
This report is written by Chang Yeo-kyung from Institute for Digital Rights in South Korea, and sponsored by Human Rights Foundation SARAM. We would like to share awareness of issues with human rights activists at home and abroad and initiate social dialogues for disease control policies and social solidarity that guarantees human rights even in the midst of a global pandemic.
For more information, please contact :
2. Growing awareness of problems with automated personal data processing and fundamental rights
3. European norms for automated personal data processing and profiling
--A. Concept of profiling
--B. Principles of general profiling process
--C. Profiling of solely automated decision-making
--D. Comparison with the norms of Korean PIPA
4. Automated personal data processing and profiling of EISS
--A. Overview of EISS
--B. Personal data processing of EISS
5. Direction of EISS regulations
[ENGLISH / PDF] Covid_19_and_the_right_to_Privacy_an_analysis_of_South_Korean_Experiences
The Korean government is promoting international standardization, naming it the “K-Qaurantine Model”. The Korean government described the 'K- Qaurantine model' as a 3T (Test-Trace-Treat) which are '① test/confirmation→② epidemiology/tracking→③ quarantine/treatment'. It is based on identifying contacts by a precise epidemiological investigation of infectious disease patients, quarantining suspected COVID-19 patients and conducting active diagnostic tests. However, in this process, the sensitive personal information such as medical conditions, travel history, sexual orientation and private relations are collected, processed and disclosed, leading to controversy over personal information infringement.
It is difficult to conclude that the Korean model is more repressive in that restrictions on the right to liberty of movement are also limitations on fundamental rights. But before concluding that strong surveillance measures are effective in responding to infectious diseases, we need a rigorous analysis on whether the collection of personal information and the use of surveillance technology really worked in responding to COVID-19, whether there were other larger factors that influenced the success of quarantine, or whether it is possible to improve the Korean model in a less invasive way.
This report is an outcome of the research conducted by Korean Progressive Network Jinbonet and Institute for Digital Rights, and sponsored by Association for Progressive Communications.
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Byoung-il Oh : firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Human Rights Principles in times of infectious disease crisis
3. Korean legislation for processing personal information in responding to infectious diseases
4. Digital Rights Issues in COVID-19 Response
(1) Epidemiological investigation and contact tracing of infectious disease patients
(2) Disclosure of movement paths of confirmed patients
(3) Monitoring of self-quarantine
(4) Mandatory entry log system
(1) The need for independent supervision
(2) The material basis of K-quarantine
(3) Has the ROK succeeded in quarantine against COVID-19?