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S. Korea to phase out public key certification system

All News 14:45 December 09, 2020

SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Wednesday it will phase out an official public key certification system this week in a move to introduce easier-to-use verification services.

South Koreans have used public key certificates since 1999 for verification in digital services, such as online banking and tax returns. The system, however, has been criticized in recent years for being outdated and difficult to use as it requires installation of multiple security software.

Getting rid of the system altogether was one of President Moon Jae-in's campaign promises back in 2017.

Following the recent revision to the country's digital signature law, the Ministry of Science and ICT said the existing system will no longer be the country's sole official verification system starting Thursday, paving the way for companies to replace the system with their own verification services.

One of the alternatives includes Pass, a mobile verification application from the country's three major mobile carriers SK Telecom Co., KT Corp and LG Uplus Corp.

Pass has racked up 20 million registrations since its launch in April last year, according to the companies.

The ministry said as of end-November, there were 66.5 million registrations for electronic verification services from the private sector, compared with 46.8 million for the public system.

This file photo of a computer screen shows a public key certificate input page on the website of a South Korean bank on May 20, 2020, (Yonhap)

yunhwanchae@yna.co.kr
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