South Korean presidential candidate promises to legalise non-ActiveX technologies for banking

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Ahn Cheol-Soo in 2010.
Image: Jinho Jung.

A current South Korea presidential candidate for this year's December elections, Ahn Cheol-soo, has promised to allow freedom of choice of encryption technology for online financial transactions if he is elected. Ahn revealed the promise in a campaign book released this Monday. This follows over a decade of active legislation requiring banking websites to use a South Korean ActiveX technology to operate digital certificates.

South Korea developed the ActiveX certificates technology in the late 1990s with an expectation of worldwide adoption, which did not happen. ActiveX has been supported only by Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser. Ahn indicated disadvantages of the technology, writing that "South Korea's unique certificate system, driven by the government, has led to the isolation of South Korea's IT [information technology]. Excessive use of Active X is making web browsing less convenient."

Some commenters noted that the technology requires users to install multiple plugins for Microsoft Internet Explorer, which cause a decrease in overall computer performance. At ZDNet Korean portal, the proposed policy change received comments about possible advances in making banking possible on mobile platforms.


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