Nikkei Report: Big Data and Legislative Reform

The Japanese government is preparing a new law to handle big data concerns and harmonize with international standards. To oversee the transition and enforce compliance with the new level of standards, the government will create a third-party institution to administer the regulation of personal information, allowing for greater privacy protection for consumers and ease-of-access to data for companies.

Leaders in global IT policy have placed different emphasis in how best to balance the utilization of data as an economic resource along with safeguarding consumer privacy. The European Union has taken a strong approach, banning outgoing data transfers from spreading personal information to external countries. On the other end of the spectrum, the USA has allowed corporations to take the lead on the regulation of personal data, with some supervision from the Federal Trade Commission.

For major Japanese corporations, an early resolution of these issues is critical to protect against ongoing business risks. The finalization of a big data legal framework would eliminate the danger of problems, such as the recent East Japan Railways’ sale of personal data obtained from SUICA integrated circuit transportation cards.

From a consumer perspective, there are also many potential benefits in the proposed implementation of the big data reform. Map and GPS data could be utilized to provide route history feedback, and health insurance companies could extrapolate risk chances from car navigation records.

Last Word:  

Despite the strong push from business, progress remains slow. The issue revolves around the structure and authorities to be given any new supervisory agency and effectively defining its relationship with the existing ministries. 

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Source: Nikkei Shimbun, Digital Edition (Japanese)