Sunday, May 31, 2015
Major Revisions to DP Law Under Consideration in Japan
Recognizing that significant advances in information and communications technology have occurred since Japan's Act on the Protection of Personal Information came into force ten years ago, the The Asahi Shimbun reports that the Diet is now considering major amendments to the Act. At present the administration of the law is decentralized, with some 13 ministries and agencies responsible for compliance in different industries. The amendments would create a Personal Information Protection Commission; expand the definition of personal information; define categories of sensitive information that can be collected or processed only with a data subject's consent; eliminate the 5,000 record exemption; allow for sharing of anonymized or psuedonymized personal data without consent; extend the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the Act to foreign entities offering services in Japan; and allow for transfer of personal data out of Japan only if special safeguards such as contracts are in place or the recipient country has equivalent data protection standards. The amendments would be introduced in three stages, with the expectation that they will be fully in force in 2017.