Korean Government Reorganizes National ID System After Leaks

The resident registration number is a thirteen digit identification number used extensively for online identification and in personal transactions for residents of Korea. The government is considering reorganizing the resident registration number in light of recent massive information leakages.

Earlier this year, hackers stole the personal information from twelve million customers at KT Corp, one of Korea’s largest phone companies, and one hundred four million credit card users at KB Financial Group Inc., NongHyup Financial Group Inc. and Lotte Group had their information stolen in one of the largest credit card information thefts.

Some netizens agree with the restructuring, but others complain that the government is not getting to the root of the problem by changing the system.

Article from Yonhap News:

Government to Introduce a New Resident Registration System – Reorganization Outline To Come Out Next Month


The government will announce a plan to reorganize the resident registration system in September to prevent further damage from large scale information leakage.

On August 25th, Won-jin Jo, an assistant administrator of the ruling party in National Assembly, said he found out about this plan from Ministry of Security and Public Administration(MOSPA), the ministry and office dealing with resident registration numbers.

At the end of September, MOSPA will hold a public hearing to announce the reorganization plan that it has been reviewing thus far.

According to Mr. Jo, MOSPA is planning to propose 4 kinds of reorganization plans.

MOSPA’s reorganization plan can largely be divided into two possibilities; The first is to maintain the current resident registration system and assign additional registration numbers. The second is to change the whole system and assign new registration numbers.

To overcome the security vulnerabilities of the resident registration numbers, the government adopted 'I-Pin' and 'My-Pin' system.

To overcome the security vulnerabilities of the resident registration numbers, the government adopted the ‘I-Pin’ and ‘My-Pin’ systems.

New resident numbers can be based systematically on the date of birth and gender like the existing resident numbers or can be randomly assigned like I-PIN.

Mr. Jo said, “MOSPA has been considering two plans; One is to assign additional numbers or to adopt a whole new system. The other is to combine numbers systematically or randomly.”

Also Mr Jo added, “Many people’s resident registration numbers were disclosed after repeat leaks of a large amount of personal information, so there is high demand for a new system. The government should not establish the system and unilaterally notify the people, but from the start, it should carry out the plan based on the people’s consensus.”

In the cases of information abuse, 195 people were punished for ‘personal perusal’(40.4%), followed by 136 people punished for ‘information distribution without permission’(28.2%) to another department or to other institutions. There were also fourteen cases regarding external information leakage.

Comments from Naver:


We should adopt the new system. All of our resident registration numbers seem to have been sold out to the Chinese.


I can’t agree with this more. The government should change all the resident registration numbers and make sure that public institutions like banks tighten up security. It also should stop internet sites from asking for resident registration numbers any more.


It proves that the government has accepted that I-PIN is a big failure.


The new system by the government is just making another id for sites lacking security.


What’s that for? It will be leaked again, tut tut.


All the money for the change is supposed to be paid for by credit card companies..


Please assign random numbers instead of systematic numbers, and don’t include dates of birth any more.


Apart from internet sites, there are too many places asking for resident registration numbers. Why are dentists or hagwons asking for it? It’s not too late to change the system after making a clear list of institutions that need the number, and improving legal sanctions so that no more personal information is leaked.


It looks dangerous. Just reduce the importance of the resident registration number. Make it so there’s almost nothing you can get from the number.


Delete the dates of birth if the new system is applied.


Introducing the new system is good. However in order not to waste money, the government should readjust laws too so that not just anyone can ask for the new numbers. If the government imposes a heavy tax on a person who leaks the numbers, then it will cover the cost when assigning new numbers.


First and foremost, change the personal information consent form. Companies know they have to pay a high amount of compensation damages to customers if they do something wrong. To protect themselves, what they say is that as customers have agreed on the personal information consent form, the companies are not liable. A law that prioritizes is wrong; The law should be changed to prevent companies from taking advantage of it.


I haven’t been to China even once, but my information has been there so many times.


The government should figure out how the information was leaked, not adopt a new system. The new system is useless as the numbers will be leaked again.


From the beginning, the problem was that people were asked to provide their registration numbers when joining sites. Like other countries, an email address is more than enough.


Don’t waste state funds on useless things. Have you seen how inconvenienced people are by the new address system? Find another way.


Assign new numbers and don’t make people use them when authenticating. I was shocked when I found I had joined a site I didn’t know about.


My office gave me a personal information consent form to sign. When I said I disagreed, they said there’s no such thing. Why the heck did they ask me then?


What’s the use of the new system? The information will be leaked again.

Comments from Daum:


To the government, I’m begging you, please don’t do anything. You’ve made I-Pin and another individual distinct number system for customs, and you’re going to make another system to replace registration numbers? Why is the government always going backwards? Number systems should be reduced not increased..


If the government and banks keep asking for the number, the new system is useless. Not only the government but banks should give up on the Internet real-name system.


Does the new system mean a lot? If any hacker or a financial company steals the information, thousands of people’s information will be leaked.. Will the government re-issue the number each time it happens?


Why does the government keep making something? It should ban offices or industries from collecting the numbers. Idiots.


For a private corporation building a hotel, the government changed the runaway regulations. [Even though the 2nd Lotte world by Lotte Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd. had been building too close to the Seoul Airport, the government changed the policy including the runway.] When information was leaked, the government changes the resident registration numbers.. Its common sense is really lacking. Ask the companies for enough compensation, and then reorganize the system. That makes more sense.


Mafia snobs, they are doing shit like this because they have nothing to do. Pitiful blood tax.


The information should not be leaked again in the process of adopting the new system over the current system. However, based on what has happened so far, personal information leakage seems possible…


Rather than introduce a new system, take control of what is happening. Only f*** idiots always like to do things beyond their abilities.


Abolish the resident registration number system and adopt a whole new system.


This is insane, ke ke. I’ve seen so many I-Pin advertisements…

비밀이얌 하트님:

Am I the only person who’s thinking about a street address system? ke ke I don’t know how much money they will steal for changing the resident registration system..


The new system definitely will cost an enormous sum of money and part of the money will be laundered. It is bad as a street addressing system.


I can’t believe what civil servants do..


The solution is surprisingly simple, which is to abolish the resident registration system. Don’t say gibberish like ‘social costs’; Distrust, an unconscious unstable factor caused by personal information leakage is creating more social costs. Think about it, how large can a society grow if people can’t trust each other? Distrust is a bigger risk. People can get all the information once they obtain your resident registration number. It is so deplorable and scary. The government made the system in the name of accomplishing the regularization of the people. However, it is only a useful supervising system for the government. If the loss is bigger than the gain from a system, the system should be abolished.


Only Koreans use the resident registration system. What’s the use of it? Dates of birth are more than enough!

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  • Bryan Cheron

    Whatever system they implement, I bet it won’t work for foreign residents on at least a lot of Korean sites.

    • Jang

      True dat, but it won’t work for S. Koreans either when the NORKS hack S. Korean businesses/banks again and again and again…

      And I’ll add a comment about this quote or this “possibility”…”The first is to maintain the current resident registration system and assign additional registration numbers.”

      Sure, they should give the Kims a ‘1’, the Choi’s a ‘2’, the Park’s a ‘3’ etc…Kind of like how currently males are assigned a ‘1’(because they’re the best) females a ‘2’(because they follow men and are second class citizens) foreigners a ‘3’(because they aren’t as good as Koreans) etc…

      • Someone06

        Honestly, in quite a few European countries, social security numbers start with a 1 for the males, 2 for the females, 3 for non nationals too, I wouldn’t look too much into this, there are other far more obvious and serious cases of discrimination or sexism.

        • Guest

          That argument is as ridiculous as proving how “vain” korea is by saying you need to add a picture of yourself while applying for a job (I’ve seen a lot of people offended by that and calling the country socially backwards for it). That’s the same in a lot of european countries

    • A Touch of Sin

      This article brought back bad memories of living in Korea and trying to buy anything online. If I remember correctly, “foreigner” IDs were of a different format, of course websites would only accept the Korean citizen formatted IDs, therefore I could not buy anything. I tried signing up for the I-PIN but they only had about three spaces to fill in my family name, which of course didn’t match up with my resident ID, so no I-PIN for me. Not to mention the website looked like a disco version of 1997 Geocities and couldn’t be translated because they used Flash (also from 1997). Bad memories.

  • HaydenG

    Foolish Koreans. Americans must never allow the cancerous liberal scourge to implement a national ID card. ID numbers are for farm animals, not citizens.

    It doesn’t matter whether they are called democrats, socialists, progressives, the forces of the left have one goal. Total control over your life.

    • Are you trolling or are you actually this fucking stupid?

      • woonawoona

        if he’s trolling…what a lame troll…if he’s serious…what a lame argument.

      • HaydenG

        Oh I’m sorry I didn’t realize you are pro mass identity theft.

        —– Reply message —–

    • B

      You’re a lame version of Ron Swanson. At least he had some class.

      DoN’T TrEaD On MeEeEe I’m So CooL WiTh ThIs FlaG Br0s

  • Anark1

    why would you need ID number for online transactions? this is stupid.

  • KCdude

    South Korea drastically needs to reduce the usage of Adobe Flash, ActiveX, and the ID number system. Now I really love Canada and the UK for having at least sustainable internet policies, unlike South Korea.

    God Save the Queen!

    • Anark1

      I heard it’s written in law that online shopping sites must have ActiveX implemented. How backward is that?

    • Mang

      And the adherance to Internet explorer. Everyone goes on about how fast the internet is, but what use is it when you can’t even carry out a basic transaction, because they want to you to use IE circa 2009, with 50 plugins that slow the computer to a crawl. I really don’t understand it. Is internet fraud a bigger problem in Korea than anywhere else on earth?
      It’s like having a Ferrari and putting diesal in the tank because you are scared someone’s going to try and steal it.

  • BSDetector

    Ahh another outlet for rear-view window programmers to yammer on about the demon Active-X. The problem isn’t Active-X it’s Government Gone Wild due to apathetic citizens.

    The only thing that should “gone wild” is girls. Not my girl though, stay away from her.

  • Xio Gen

    How can there be 104 million credit card users when the population of South Korea is 50 million?

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