• Kyodo

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The communications ministry is planning to introduce a system to check whether smartphone applications are handling private information in line with user agreements.

Officials said the ministry has been calling on application providers to let users know that private information such as location data may be passed on to third parties if they use a map or games on their smartphones.

It is also urging app makers to tell users what type of information they are accessing and for what purposes before gaining consent from users, but the officials said Tuesday this effort has not been bearing fruit.

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry has also taken note of complicated language in user agreements and some cases where private data have been extracted from smartphones without the users’ knowledge.

The ministry is planning to work with an information security company to develop a screening system for information management, with trials scheduled to start by the end of the year, the sources said.

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