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[Bills in Focus] Sudden car acceleration, AI regulation and ESG incentives

June 5, 2023 - 21:00 By Korea Herald

Proposed bill: Partial Amendment to the Motor Vehicle Management Act

Proposed by Rep. Han Jun-ho (Democratic Party of Korea)

● Amid the series of recent car accidents involving suspected sudden unintended acceleration, car accident victims have found it difficult to prove the causality between a car defect and the accident, as highly specialized knowledge and access to core information held by the car manufacturer is required to establish such connections. This amendment aims to protect car accident victims by requiring performance testing agents to investigate the cause of car accidents involving sudden unintended acceleration and placing the burden of proof onto the car manufacturer in cases involving suspected sudden unintended acceleration.


Proposed bill: Partial Amendment to the Content Industry Promotion Act

Proposed by Rep. Lee Sang-heon (Democratic Party of Korea)

● Following the rapid development of artificial intelligence technologies, it can now generate quality text, images and music from the data it learns from the internet. Such technologies are growing at an accelerated rate, and AI-generated content is expected to impact the content creation industry significantly. This amendment aims to prevent user confusion and reinforce the credibility and accountability of AI-generated content by requiring content producers to indicate whether the content they produced has been generated by AI technologies prescribed by presidential decree, enabling people to recognize when they are using AI-generated content.


Pending bill: Partial Amendment to the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act

Proposed by Rep. Park Yong-jin (Democratic Party of Korea)

● Concerns have been raised regarding the leniency of the current punishments for unfair trade practices, such as the use of material nonpublic information, market price manipulation and unfair trading. Many cases are not even indicted, and cases that are indicted often receive suspended sentences or lenient rulings, which are considerably lighter compared to penalties for other violations.

This amendment aims to eradicate unfair trade practices and address the insufficiency of existing criminal sanctions by introducing monetary sanctions, such as penalty surcharges, in addition to criminal punishments. This amendment also redeems unfair gains obtained from unfair trade practices.


Promulgated bill: Special Act on the Promotion of Business Conversion in Small and Medium Enterprises

Competent ministry: Ministry of SMEs and Startups

● The shift toward considering non-financial factors, such as environmental protection, social responsibility and corporate governance, in company valuation has become a global trend. However, many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Korea are still unaware of its importance and lag behind in responding to such changes.

This bill aims to encourage SMEs swiftly to adapt to the changing external landscape by introducing incentives for SME operators to receive preferential approval for business conversion plans that promote environmental protection, social responsibility and corporate governance practices.


Administrative announcement: Partial Amendment to the Enforcement Decree of the Personal Information Protection Act

Competent ministry: Personal Information Protection Commission

● This amendment prescribes the standards and procedures of personal information protection delegated by the amended Personal Information Protection Act. It aims to secure the right of data subjects to informational self-determination by clarifying the principle of obtaining valid consent and enabling data subjects to recognize and exercise their right of choice clearly. Moreover, it specifies the object and criteria of the privacy policy assessment and supplements the dispute mediation procedure by requiring all data controllers to participate in the mediation procedure in the event that a dispute arises over personal information.

This amendment further standardizes provisions that were regulated differently by online and offline contexts, aligning them with global standards and the demands of the digital era. It also supplements and revises provisions on the operation of fixed or mobile visual data processing devices to reflect the characteristics of image information. Moreover, in order to prevent data breach accidents that frequently occur in the public sector, this amendment expands the registration of personal information files in public institutions, discloses the result of privacy impact assessment and revises safety measures for public institutions that operate major public systems.


The Korea Herald republishes a weekly legislative report by local law firm DR & AJU LLC to provide the latest information on bills approved, proposed, pending and set to be promulgated. -- Ed.

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Bills in Focus