Thursday, 03 December, 2020 / 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM JST
What changes will be needed to Japan's legal framework for the protection of personal information, in light of the Data Free Flow with Trust plan in Japan, the US and Europe?
Masatomo Suzuki, Professor of Law, Niigata University Graduate School of Modern Society and Culture, Faculty of Law
The Act on the Protection of Personal Information was amended in 2015 to regulate anonymously processed information, and again amended in 2020 to introduce rules regarding pseudonymised information. Further revisions to the legal architecture, grounded in data science, will be necessary to support growth in the economy post-covid-19. In 2021, policymakers will work toward revisions to provide uniform rules for the public and private sectors. In this session, we will discuss how to align criteria for the public sector holding scattered data (personal information that is not systematically organized) due to systems of management of public documents and laws on data disclosure with criteria for the private sector, which should further move toward processed data (personal information in a database) based on data science.
We will also discuss the fundamental purpose of protecting personal information under the law, and the scope of information that should be protected to achieve that purpose. With that basis, we will consider how we can balance protection and use, and specifically how the legal framework might affect a determination of whether the vast amount of data gathered by the sensors of autonomous vehicles would qualify as personal information. In addition, with widespread hopes for a coronavirus vaccine, I would like to suggest a path toward a legislative and policy framework for how data-related laws can support pharmaceutical research and development.