Japan watchdog lays out anti-trust rules to protect consumer data


Tech companies that force users to supply personal information could run afoul of Japanese antitrust law under draft guidelines released recently by the Japan Fair Trade Commission.


The guidelines will apply to platform providers, including such e-commerce companies as Amazon.com and search engines like Google, as well as operators of video-streaming platforms and social media services. The agency will be able to levy fines and order violators to take corrective measures.


Four categories of potential violations are spelled out in the draft: acquiring personal information without clearly stating why; gathering or using data in ways not spelled out in the terms of use; causing users to provide information beyond that collected as compensation for the service; and inadequately protecting customer data. Other problematic conduct could also qualify.