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A proposed revision to the law on protecting personal information, already submitted to the Diet, would allow businesses that hold customer data to provide the information to third parties as long as the data is processed to prevent identification of the individuals. It is intended to facilitate the use of private information as a business tool, but concerns persist over inappropriate use of the data. The Diet should scrutinize the proposed revision for potential problems and amend it where necessary.

Companies see great value in culling and analyzing massive volumes of information from the Internet and other venues to use the information for their business. Data on people’s features and behavioral patterns, such as their sex, age and shopping history, are of particular value as sales tools. The revision to the 2003 law is a response to the growing calls from business circles for establishing new rules to facilitate the use of such information.

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