My Social Insurance Number OPEN for All!
My Social Insurance Number OPEN for All!
  • Jin Lim Youjeong
  • 승인 2014.04.09 09:54
  • 댓글 0
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In response to the recent massive theft of personal data, the administration has started work on improvements to the Social Insurance Number (SIN) system.  An improvement to the system is long overdue given that numbers have been illegally obtained and used on numerous occasions in the past.  Yet, it is better late than never.  The current system under gives each individual a universal identifier—a 13-digit number—that contains one’s basic personal information such as date and place of birth and gender.  The government uses the numbers to manage citizens’ personal information for a wide-range of administrative purposes, ranging from tax and property management to medical insurance and military service requirements.  Financial institutions and other private-sector organizations also demand the numbers when people apply to use their services.  The problem is that the numbers, when they fall into the wrong hands, may wreak havoc with bank deposits, credit card purchases, and other business transactions.  Theft may also result in the loss of personal information ranging from place of residence to mobile phone number.  It is not surprising that 20 million cardholders turned jittery when they learned that an employee of at a personal credit rating company had stolen their SIN numbers and other personal data.  Thus, the Sookmyung Times asked Sookmyungians whether the current systems should be abolished or maintained.

- Debate Topic -
The Social Insurance Number System Should be Abolished


Yoo Subin
Division of Business Administration '13

In South Korea, a special law was established in 1968, giving citizens residing in Korea a residential number.  However, the law has brought about many problems like theft of personal information, and therefore, some people desire abolishment of the law.
The most noteworthy point is due to the safety reason.  At first, the main purpose of the law was to finger out spies from North Korea. Specifically, in 1968, an armed communist guerrilla from North Korea invaded South Korea and attacked the Blue House (Cheong-wa-dae).  At that time, it was easy for him to sneak into the country and disguise himself as a South Korean as no law required him to reveal his identity.  Consequently, all citizens were given the unique residential number as a means of identification.  Nonetheless, if the law, which works as a protective device were it be eliminated, the possibility of an enemy attack will increase as there will be no countermeasure to distinguish terrorist from everyday citizens.
Moreover, even if the law were abolished, problems would still exist.  In fact, real problems do not exist with the SIN number, itself, but in the way companies manage personal information.  For example, recently, a multitude of band members had their personal information stolen and abused due to banks not placing enough emphasis on keeping customer data secure.
To conclude, the SIN system should not be eradicated.  It would result in danger for South Korean citizens on the Korean Peninsula due to the unique security situation with North Korea.  On top of that, companies should enforce the security first before the elimination of the law is considered an alternative because companies cause problems, especially theft of personal data, which is the greatest concern among people.


Yoon Dahyon
Division of Business Administration '14


These days, we hear news about the leaking of personal information over and over again.  People are furious about the issue.  They are frustrated that they can do nothing to prevent information thievery, so some people argue that the SIN system should be abolished and a replacement system created.
Before the NATE information leak, many Internet sites and companies required personal information.  Some people didn’t want to release the information, but if they had not, they wouldn’t have been able to register with website.  Though, via various paths, almost everyone’s information has been leaked to others who use it for their benefit, people criticize companies for requiring their SIN numbers, claiming it is unnecessary.  These days most sites do not require important personal information like SIN numbers, but it‘s too late to stop the damage.  The only way to stop the leak of SIN numbers is to obliterate them all together. 
Abolishing the system can allow people to manage their information themselves.  Now, most people understand how important it is to keep their numbers secure.  There is also the I-PIN system, which prevents others from using one’s ID number and other personal information.  Abolishing the system is now the timely approach to the problem.
We can remove and change information such as IDs, passwords, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and so on.  We cannot change our SIN number, so removing the present number system will become the duty of government, but that duty also entails protection of the nation’s citizens’ information.  Consequently, for the nation’s future, security of one’s personal information should be reinforced by law to minimize damage due to leaks.

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