On March 30th, Yahoo Japan released new regulations concerning the erasure of information as discovered by Internet searches. Upon receiving petitions for the elimination of search results, Yahoo will consider context and the scope of the request for removal to reach a determination on if the information should be deleted. The program will begin May 31st. Content that will be prioritized for protection include sexual images, private medical history, and prior records of criminal acts naming victims.
Yahoo has been holding special council sessions with legal specialists as of last November to develop and implement the new policy.
Yahoo’s latest move places them in step with recent legal action taken against Google in Europe with the establishment of the “Right to be Forgotten.” Despite being a separate company from its American counterpart, Yahoo Japan’s search results are
powered by Google technology which has depth in localized Japanese language search. Yahoo Japan maintains other media and news services alongside its search operations in Japan. Privacy issues are currently developing and pose significant ramifications for domestic and international ICT firms. The recent passage of the revised privacy law in the Lower House will lead to the establishment of a Data Protection Authority (DPA) whose funding and capacity has yet to be fully outlined by the Japanese Government.