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Samsung apologizes for unauthorized access to employees’ donation records

Samsung Electronics and its 16 affiliates on Friday apologized for accessing employees’ records of donations to civil organizations without their permission.

In a statement, they said the former control tower of Samsung Group -- called the Future Strategy Office -- had unauthorized access to the records of Samsung executives and employees regarding donations to 10 civic groups in May 2013.

“The office defined the 10 civic groups as ‘rebellious’ and browsed employees’ donation records without their permission, which is a clear wrongdoing,” the statement said. “The companies make a sincere apology to the Samsung employees, civil organizations and related officials.”

The apology was made at the request of the outside compliance monitoring committee, which discussed the issue on Feb. 13.

The committee was formed in January at the order of judge Jung Joon-young, who is presiding over retrials of Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong on bribery charges involving former President Park Geun-hye.

By Song Su-hyun (