The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) started a probe of the country’s taxi-booking platforms, including market leader Kakao Mobility, following complaints about the misuse of personal location data.

In a statement, KCC explained it would review how taxi service operators manage personal location information and sanction them if confirming violations.

Its investigating will focus on Kakao Mobility, which it said has a monopoly position of more than a 90 per cent share of the sector, to determine if it is properly protecting customer information.

KCC chair Lee Dong-kwan noted: “Personal location information is sensitive, involving safety and privacy, necessitating stringent sanctions for operators neglecting user rights.”

The telecoms regulator said it inspected more than 2,000 operators in the sector in 2022 and 2023, and identified a number which lacked location information protection measures.

It is considering disciplinary action. 

The number of taxis called using mobile apps exceeds 10 million per month, with the size of the market estimated to reach KRW2.5 trillion ($1.9 billion) in 2023, KCC stated.