contents of Kakao Privacy Philosophy

Transparency Report

contents of Government requests for User Information

Kakao provides users’ personal information through legitimate processes if the company is required to do so by law. Kakao believes that it is our obligation towards our users to disclose the information provision process in a transparent manner.
Kakao is the first company in Korea to release a transparency report, joining 40 other companies worldwide to have released reports

* This transparency report contains the status of user information provided as well as postings that were deleted. Please note that these requests were from the South Korean government only.

More information about the transparency report is provided in the <Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)> section below.
FAQ

Process for handling data requests from government
  1. 1. Information requested - Law enforcement agencies such as the prosecutor's office or police submit relevant document(s) to Kakao.
  2. 2. Document(s) reviewed - Document requirement met: Addressee marked, each page stamped and initialed, approved by proper authorities, all items filled out , law enforcement officers' proof of identity confirmed, etc

    - Document requirement not met: Request denial letter provided
  3. 3. Document processed - To protect the user's privacy, applicable laws and Kakao's policy are strictly adhered to, to ensure only minimal information is included.

    - The document is processed only by a limited number of authorized officers.

    - The document can only be viewed by the law enforcement officer(s) in charge via decryption key.
  4. 4. Document reviewed - Document handling process and information contained are thoroughly reviewed by authorized officers.
  5. 5. Information provided and managed - Once information provided to law enforcement agencies has served its legal purpose, any and all related documents are deleted permanently.

    - Documents submitted are stored for the required time period.
  • Communications data, under the Telecommunications Business Act, consists of the “user’s name, resident registration number, address, telephone number, ID, date of registration and unregistration”. The court, prosecutor’s office and investigative organizations may request communications data to conduct criminal investigations, determine sentences and trial proceeding.
    Kakao no longer provides communications data in accordance with the decision of the Constitutional Court of Korea (2010Hun-Ma439, telecommunications companies are not obligated to submit the information since the request for communications data cannot be enforced).
    Submitted/Processed Requests
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total requests processed
    by telecommunications
    companies
    574,769
    Total accounts processed
    by telecommunication
    companies
    4,480,266
    Daum Requests 586 704
    Processed 0 0
    Accounts 0 0
    Kakao Requests 76 95
    Processed 0 0
    Accounts 0 0
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total requests processed
    by telecommunications
    companies
    560,027 564,847
    Total accounts processed
    by telecommunication
    companies
    5,901,664 4,675,415
    Daum Requests 123 86
    Processed 0 0
    Accounts 0 0
    Kakao Requests 22 12
    Processed 0 0
    Accounts 0 0
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total requests processed
    by telecommunications
    companies
    492,502 508,511
    Total accounts processed
    by telecommunication
    companies
    6,024,935 6,942,521
    Daum Requests 139 93
    Processed 0 0
    Accounts 0 0
    Kakao Requests 344 287
    Processed 0 0
    Accounts 0 0
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total requests processed
    by telecommunications
    companies
    465,304 479,623
    Total accounts processed
    by telecommunication
    companies
    4,827,616 4,747,043
    Daum Requests 411 236
    Processed 0 0
    Accounts 0 0
    Kakao Requests 262 374
    Processed 1 0
    Accounts 17 0
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total requests processed
    by telecommunications
    companies
    395,061 425,739
    Total accounts processed
    by telecommunication
    companies
    3,856,357 4,023,231
    Daum Requests 8,178 6,265
    Processed 5,869 3,975
    Accounts 26,269 41,030
    Kakao Requests 247 544
    Processed 136 249
    Accounts 248 783
    • ※ Total requests processed by telecommunications companies are aggregated and released by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and contain requests processed by a total of 135 companies, including 51 common carriers, 42 service-based carriers and 42 value-added carriers as of the first half of 2016.
    • ※ The number of requests and processed requests are based on the number of documents from the court. The number of accounts represents the number of processed accounts (determined by ID or phone numbers) from submitted documents and equal to the number calculated by the Ministry of Science.
  • Communication confirmation data, under the Protection of Communications Secrets Act, consists of the data recipient’s subscriber number, log records (including data and time), and IP address.
    The investigative organization makes a request for communication confirmation data after acquiring a court permission, which contains the reason for the request, the correlation with the subscriber who is the subject of the request, and the range of data that is needed.

    View applicable law :
    Protection of Communication Secrets Act
    Submitted/Processed Requests
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total requests processed
    by telecommunications
    companies
    145,467
    Total accounts processed
    by telecommunication
    companies
    758,490
    Daum Requests 2,397 2,242
    Processed 1,123 896
    Accounts 3,018 2,044
    Kakao Requests 802 1,071
    Processed 697 909
    Accounts 1,028 1,427
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total requests processed
    by telecommunications
    companies
    150,880 150,062
    Total accounts processed
    by telecommunication
    companies
    3,799,199 1,685,746
    Daum Requests 2,234 2,219
    Processed 995 945
    Accounts 1,266 1,283
    Kakao Requests 661 657
    Processed 519 575
    Accounts 694 773
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total requests processed
    by telecommunications
    companies
    132,031 127,153
    Total accounts processed
    by telecommunication
    companies
    6,143,984 4,144,508
    Daum Requests 1,817 1,681
    Processed 772 751
    Accounts 1,825 1,387
    Kakao Requests 1,044 783
    Processed 801 614
    Accounts 1,362 826
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total requests processed
    by telecommunications
    companies
    133,789 132,070
    Total accounts processed
    by telecommunication
    companies
    9,380,125 6,734,543
    Daum Requests 1,767 1,903
    Processed 597 739
    Accounts 948 1,280
    Kakao Requests 630 793
    Processed 528 586
    Accounts 702 733
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total requests processed
    by telecommunications
    companies
    119,306 120,002
    Total accounts processed
    by telecommunication
    companies
    12,637,507 12,765,110
    Daum Requests 2,064 2,166
    Processed 911 953
    Accounts 1,210 1,180
    Kakao Requests 154 380
    Processed 129 337
    Accounts 6,664 445
    • ※ Total requests processed by telecommunications companies are aggregated and released by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and contain requests processed by a total of 135 companies, including 51 common carriers, 42 service-based carriers and 42 value-added carriers as of the first half of 2016.
    • ※ The number of requests and processed requests are based on the number of documents from the court. The number of accounts represents the number of processed accounts (determined by ID or phone numbers) from submitted documents and equal to the number calculated by the Ministry of Science.
  • Communication-restricting measures, or the act of monitoring telecommunications, is defined by the Protection of Communication Secrets Act, which states that “communication-restricting measures must be used to supplement criminal investigations or secure national security, and used with care in order to minimize any infringement of the people’s telecommunication secrets.” The court approves of a communication-restricting measure only for a limited number of serious criminal offenses when there is sufficient reason to suspect that such criminal actions are underway or if there is no other means available to prevent the crime.

    View applicable law :
    Protection of Communication Secrets Act
    Submitted/Processed Requests
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total requests processed
    by telecommunications
    companies
    165
    Total accounts processed
    by telecommunication
    companies
    2,407
    Daum Requests 18 19
    Processed 18 19
    Accounts 39 42
    Kakao Requests 15 13
    Processed 15 13
    Accounts 15 13
    Additional Cases Processed 4 4
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total requests processed
    by telecommunications
    companies
    203 120
    Total accounts processed
    by telecommunication
    companies
    2,832 1,314
    Daum Requests 23 16
    Processed 23 16
    Accounts 189 25
    Kakao Requests 0 9
    Processed 0 8
    Accounts 0 8
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total requests processed
    by telecommunications
    companies
    378 192
    Total accounts processed
    by telecommunication
    companies
    3,995 1,851
    Daum Requests 28 19
    Processed 28 19
    Accounts 125 112
    Kakao Requests 61 20
    Processed 57 21
    Accounts 83 34
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total requests processed
    by telecommunications
    companies
    255 337
    Total accounts processed
    by telecommunication
    companies
    3,540 2,492
    Daum Requests 23 46
    Processed 22 46
    Accounts 120 152
    Kakao Requests 36 50
    Processed 33 48
    Accounts 37 52
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total requests processed
    by telecommunications
    companies
    267 180
    Total accounts processed
    by telecommunication
    companies
    3,851 2,236
    Daum Requests 30 26
    Processed 29 24
    Accounts 190 134
    Kakao Requests 15 26
    Processed 15 26
    Accounts 17 30
    • ※ Total requests processed by telecommunications companies are aggregated and released by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and contain requests processed by a total of 135 companies, including 51 common carriers, 42 service-based carriers and 42 value-added carriers as of the first half of 2016.
    • ※ Kakao received 20 requests in the second-half of 2014 but is recorded to have received 21 requests because requests that were submitted in the first-half but processed during the second-half are included.
    • ※ The number of requests and processed requests are based on the number of documents from the court. The number of accounts represents the number of processed accounts (determined by ID or phone numbers) from submitted documents and equal to the number calculated by the Ministry of Science.
    • ※ Kakao ceased to cooperate with communication-restricting measures in October 2014 taking into consideration the limits of relevant laws that are not suitable for a digital age. However, Kakao resumed compliance with communication-restricting measures in October 2015 considering that investigations on serious crimes are necessary. Then, Kakao minimized likelihood of infringements on privacy by masking the data of users in group chat who were not subject to the investigations. Since October 2016, according to the Supreme Court’s ruling [2016do8137] that conversations taken from KakaoTalk server are inadmissible as evidence unless they were obtained in a form of real-time wiretap in accordance with the Protection of Communications Secrets Act, Kakao has refused to comply with such wiretapping warrants. We hope applicable laws can be amended in an effort to enhance protection of users’ privacy.
  • The search and seizure warrant is a compulsory investigation method used to search for evidence against the suspect and is issued by the court upon the investigative organization’s request. The warrant includes information on the object that is to be seized, the place that is to be searched, and in the case of telecommunications, the period the suspected information was written in.

    View applicable law : Criminal Procedure Law
    Submitted/Processed Requests
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total issued by courts
    Daum Requests 1,932 1,802
    Processed 1,295 1,172
    Accounts 20,876 8,757
    Kakao Requests 2,255 2,729
    Processed 1,809 2,172
    Accounts 261,884 323,302
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total issued by courts 165,042
    Daum Requests 2,520 1,889
    Processed 1,905 1,207
    Accounts 461,916 45,208
    Kakao Requests 1,449 1,696
    Processed 1,040 1,261
    Accounts 163,354 126,966
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total issued by courts 166,033
    Daum Requests 2,595 2,177
    Processed 2,262 2,136
    Accounts 220,223 131,654
    Kakao Requests 2,131 1,733
    Processed 1,651 1,348
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total issued by courts 166,877
    Daum Requests 2,170 2,612
    Processed 1,771 2,367
    Accounts 108,273 308,444
    Kakao Requests 983 1,693
    Processed 816 1,407
    Submitted/Processed Requests table
    1H 2H
    Total issued by courts 107,499
    Daum Requests 513 850
    Processed 498 786
    Accounts 101,779 23,178
    Kakao Requests 273 538
    Processed 231 473
    • ※ The total number of search and seizure warrants is based on the Judiciary Almanac released by the Office of Court Administration.
    • ※ The number of requests processed, and the number is based on the number of court documents. Account number is a number given to law enforcement agencies. In the case of kakao it started to aggregate since 2015.