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The government on Monday ordered messaging app provider Line to take measures to properly protect customer information after it was found such data could be accessed by a Chinese affiliate.

Even though it is common for Japanese companies to outsource product development to China, Line’s case was different, reports Kazuaki Nagata, because it involved access to personal data without consent — possibly even by the Chinese government itself.

Line says it has cut access from China and plans to move data stored in South Korea to Japan. But holding data domestically won’t necessarily better protect against attempts to obtain personal info, writes Nagata, if cybersecurity measures are below par.

Line's data management drew flak last month after it was revealed the firm had allowed a Chinese software company to access users’ personal information. | REUTERS
Line’s data management drew flak last month after it was revealed the firm had allowed a Chinese software company to access users’ personal information. | REUTERS

Moving on to the other big Japanese tech drama, a letter received by Toshiba from CVC Capital Partners last week appeared to signal the end of the British firm’s nascent bid to buy the conglomerate.

But the withdrawal could embolden activist investors, who want to see a growth strategy to lead the firm out of its current rut — a tough task given that Toshiba has sold off many of its crown jewels.

Already, one investor has called on Toshiba to run a strategic review and “indicate that it is open to alternative ownership structures, and correct media speculation” that Toshiba’s leadership wants the firm to stay listed.

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