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Korean websites fined for discriminating against visually impaired people

Visually impaired people in South Korea win court fight against e-commerce sites.

Three major online shopping site operators have been ordered by a South Korean court to pay compensation for discrimination against visually impaired people.

In a collective suit filed against, Lotte Mart and e-Bay Korea by about 960 visually-impaired people, the Seoul Central District Court ruled partially in favour of the visually-handicapped people, ordering the defendants to pay compensation of US$90.41 to each plaintiff.

The visually impaired people filed the collective suit back in 2017 claiming that the online shopping malls discriminated against them in light of information usage by making it difficult for them to access and buy goods therein.

The visually-impaired people demanded asked the online stores to pay compensation of $1800 won to each of them.

The total amount of compensation demanded by the visually-handicapped people was $5.1 million but the court ordered the operators to assume responsibility for only $270,000.

In addition, the court ordered the online shopping malls to launch a service that enables visually impaired people to obtain shopping information through screen readers within six months from the date of the ruling.

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