Park Young-sun, minister of SMEs and Startups, Monday made an important remark. She said South Korea should form a consensus on how much personal information should be protected.

She said that without forming a social and political consensus on the protection of personal information; South Korea would be left behind in the global race toward the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Her statement reflects South Korean government’s dilemma of protecting personal information and allowing tech firms to use the data for business

Without Big Data, these Korean tech firms would remain as a ‘frog in the pond,’ unable to compete with Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

In the United States, too much private information is available for tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. Thus these tech giants use and classify private data for marketing.

On the other hand, South Korea protects too much on private information. Thus tech companies such as Naver and Kakao Talk could not compete with such global giants as Google, Amazon, and Facebook.

Some pundits exaggerate the United States is the Republic of Google, meaning that Google appears to have more private information than the U.S. government.

Shoshana Zuboff of Harvard University called this era as the ‘age of surveillance capitalism.’ In her famous book, she said it is Google, Facebook, and Amazon that uses private information for marketing, reselling private data to other marketing companies.

She lamented Google’s excessive use of private information and warned people became slavery to these tech giants. She criticized the U.S. government for not restraining these tech giants. Despite her warning, Google, Facebook, and Amazon are riding high by using private information worldwide.

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