“No more personal information”
NCsoft sent an official letter to Cyber Terror Response Center(CTRC) that it cannot help providing personal information any more in the future last 15.
This is because NCsoft has stopped garnering its players’ Resident Registration Number(RRN) which is same as Social Security Number in the U.S. for last 8 months and has discarded all the related data. NCsoft’s measure has magnified the importance of the personal information in line with the massive hacking affair in <Maple Story> of Nexon last month.
Agency Takes Care of the Personal Information
For now the players need only e-mail and password to sign up PlayNC, the game portal of NCsoft, while either i-PIN(Internet Personal Identification Number) or RRN is still needed so as to verify his/her name(which verifies if it is a human or a bot).
Therefore the verification process is now handled by other credit agency and it only tells NCsoft if the customer is an adult or not, or a bot. The data is unidirectionally encrypted and not stored in any servers in order to prevent possible hacking and protect the players’ personal information in the future.
Despite the change in policy the players would not have any difficulties to play the game. While NCsoft had required the player the personal information to purchase in-game items, payment gateways will do the identification work for it instead. Yet NCsoft will keep minimum information such as purchasing account, purchased items, and the transaction time.
An official from NCsoft said “We have acknowledged the importance of the personal information for a long time. So we have collected minimum personal information and have asked other agency to do the sensitive information work including the RRN on behalf of us. We can still identify the players’ age which is closely related to the service itself and the shutdown system recently taken effect.”
- E-mail, nickname, and password are all you need to sign up.
Can’t Stop Collecting It
NHN Hangame also announced not to collect personal information while Nexon and Neowiz started to make new policy for the personal information too. As the possibility and risk of hacking in the game industry are increasingly rising the industry is to beef up protecting the information collected so far.
But, in reality, they cannot just stop collecting it completely. They need to know the age of the players to screen children from playing 18+ games. And the best and only way to do so in Korea is to see the RRN.
Although NCsoft is saying they are not collecting it now, the agency is collecting it for them anyway. The agency charges about a penny for every identification and the game companies pay for it wholly. Guess how much would it be if authentication becomes mandatory for the game industry.
An official from the Korean game industry said “Authenticating the name and verifying oneself are totally different. We can just pay the agency to identify if their names are true while we need to find out if the accounts belong to correct players. Therefore we need something to compare in order to do so.”