Government to push companies into making more use of customers’ personal data

JIJI

The government plans to draw up guidelines by the end of March aimed at getting companies to make more use of personal data such as customers’ buying history.

The guidelines are expected to include rules for protecting individual rights, informed sources said.

Through the guidelines, the government aims to pave the way for creating private-sector services designed to manage such data, the sources said.

The government has been trying to promote commercial use of personal information. But the effort has made little progress due partly to the personal information protection law, which includes a complicated process for obtaining data use permission.

By compiling the guidelines, the government hopes to gain public trust in the safety of such data utilization and encourage companies to launch related operations, the sources said.

The proposed information banking service will involve managing the buying history of individuals, as well as personal data accumulated in smartphones, such as heart rates, sleeping hours and mobile history.

After obtaining consent from consumers, companies engaging in such services will provide personal information to online retailers and health care service providers.

The government hopes the initiative will help to revive personal spending, the sources said.

The key to success is whether the government will be able to show benefits for consumers, they said.