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JFTC compiles issues draft guidelines for tighter regulation of tech giants and use of customer data

Warns of fines for guidelines violations

02 September 2019

The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has published its draft guidelines concerning abuse of a superior bargaining position under the Antimonopoly Act on the transactions between digital platform operators and consumers that provide personal information.

The JFTC are looking to address the ways that the big tech companies can block new companies from entering the market, by monopolising customer data through their platforms  via a “a superior bargaining position” when customers have no choice but to provide their data to use the services. 

The draft guidelines (English Version) have been developed by the JFTC in response to the 'Fundamental Principles for Rule Making to Address the Rise of Platform Businesses' Formulated published on 18 December 2018. The draft guidelines (Japanesse Version), which will apply antimonopoly laws to the collection of data, provide four typical types of abuses of a superior bargaining position:

  • Acquiring personal information without stating the purpose of use to consumers
  • Acquiring or using personal information against consumers' intention beyond the scope necessary to achieve the purpose of use
  • Acquiring and using personal information without taking the precautions necessary and appropriate for safe management of personal information
  • Causing consumers in continuous use of services to provide economic interests like personal information in addition to the compensation provided in exchange for the use of services.

The JFTC, will also, work closely with the data privacy regulator, the Personal Information Protection Commission.  

The JFTC has invited public comments on the draft guidelines by 30 September 2019.