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Policy Proposals  Industrial Technology Opinion for Revision of the Act on Protection of Personal Information

March 18, 2014


Following the new IT strategy approved by the Cabinet in June 2013, which calls for development of an environment for Japan to become the world's leading society that encourages utilization of data, the national government has started discussions to promote utilization of personal data including behavioral records of individuals, etc. In December 2013, the IT Strategic Headquarters of the government approved the institutional review policy concerning utilization of personal data, and a fundamental principle of the review will be completed in June this year aimed at submission to the ordinary session of the Diet in 2015. The core of the review is a revision of the Act on the Protection of Personal Information concerning identification of living individuals.

Under the circumstances, Keidanren has compiled a proposal for establishing a system that secures a balance between the protection and utilization of personal data in the era of Big Data.

Summary of the proposal

The largest obstacle to promote utilization of personal data in Japan is a lack of clear rules regarding the level of securing anonymity in terms of utilizing personal data. It is also important to achieve an appropriate balance between protection and utilization of personal data so that it will contribute to the government's growth strategy while protecting consumers at the same time. With this fundamental perspective in mind, Keidanren's proposal points out specific issues such as the necessity of clarifying the boundary of personal data that should be under protection as well as required functions and authority of a third party organization (privacy commissioner) that is expected to be newly established in this context.

(Note) Personal data: While "personal information" means information about a living individual which can identify the specific individual by name, date of birth or other descriptions (translation of Article 2 of the Personal Information Protection Act), "personal data" are considered as a set of information including the behavior and situation of a specific individual.

Industrial Technology