On March 30, 2017, an amendment (the "Amendment") to the Personal Information Act ("PIPA") was passed at the plenary session of the National Assembly, prescribing the format of personal information consent form.

Before the Amendment, the PIPA has required informed consent of data subjects to the processing of personal information, but not prescribed what format should be used for consent form. As a result, consumers have often consented to the collection and use of personal information without reading small-print in the consent form. This issue has often escalated to legal disputes. For instance, in a recent case before the Supreme Court of Korea, the parties disputed over whether it could be deemed to be informed consent of data subjects if the consent form informed data subjects about personal information transfer in small letter of 1 mm size while other information was provided in an easily noticeable format. [1]

As a legislative attempt to address this issue, the Amendment adds Article 22(2) clarifying in what format personal information consent must be obtained. Under Article 22(2) of the PIPA as amended, the consent must be in the format where all material provisions are marked in color or bold so that data subjects can easily read and understand them.

In order to facilitate the implementation of the Amendment which will take effect 6 months after the promulgation, the Ministry of the Interior ("MOI") is expected to establish a Presidential Decree an ordinance of MOI as follows (subject to further modifications):

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A violation of the Amendment will be subject to a fine up to 10 million won. Companies should be prepared for the implementation of the Amendment.