Monday, November 16, 2009

Internet use guide for foreigners

Yonhap reports that:
South Korea launched Monday an interactive guide for foreigners wishing to use South Korea-based Web sites more easily.
The site in question offers assistance for foreigners wanting to use Korean sites that require using your ID.  ID numbers in Korea consist of two six-digit numbers; the first six are your birthdate and the second six, well, are mostly random.  However, the first digit of the second set reflects your nationality.  If it starts with a '5', you are a foreigner.  My son, with dual citizenship until he reaches eighteen,  has a different first digit, and my wife, Korean, has a different digit yet.  Shamefully, I do not know my wife's ID number, so I cannot tell you what the number is for Koreans.

However, I can tell you that it is the one that works on Korean sites, and the foreigner's number does not.

Anyway, the website describes itself as "Internet guide of identical person acknowledgement on alien in Korea".  Everywhere, the website confuses 'Identity' with 'Identical' in a really maddening way.

Amusingly, the Korean version of "John Doe" or "John Q. Public" is "Hong Gil Dong" - a local hero for Gangneung.

The scary thing is how free the website (and presumably, the Korean government) expects us to be with our passport number and similar data.

"In case you input wrong alien registration (or domestic residence statement) or wrong name and number with your passport  Alien shall input name and number same as that on the identification card (Hey, they used the correct ident.... word)  exactly.  And you shall input your name with English capital letters.

To keep my commentary simple, the site needs work.

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