Two information policy papers by KANTEI, METI

In last month, the Japanese government published the two important information policy papers, besides the MIC's one I mentioned here (
1) The Japanese KANTEI (Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet) officially published a new national IT strategy paper.
This is very comprehensive (and a little bit too general) strategy, but there are two interesting topics for us.

  • 6p: Fostering PSI (Public Sector Information) open data: PSI should be published in machine-readable format
  • 7p: Enhancing big data utilization and privacy protection: Advancing international harmonization and establishing the new independent privacy commissioner (see also my recent blog post on the MIC's proposal)

The KANTEI is the coordinator of the Japanese overall IT policy, so tasks described here will be advanced by the all other government agencies. With regard to PSI open data, ministries and local governments has been distributing PSIs in disjointed formats and schemes. Privacy protection law and policy is in the almost same situation. I'm expecting this paper can harmonize and integrate them.
2) The Japanese METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) published a new report on "personal data" protection and its industrial utilization. The word METI's "Personal Data" is very very hard to explain in english (this is different from the concept of the EU Data Protection Directive's one), so please understand it as a general concept referring to the information that can be linkable to an individual person.
This report is mainly focusing on the issues related to privacy policy (or privacy notice). As broadly known, privacy policy of web services/smartphone applications are very hard (or impossible) to read for the most of the average users. To solve this problem, the METI is proposing the new measures;

  • Standardizing the privacy policy format: developing the common "Label" and "Icon" for the purpose of providing understandable information on usage of personal data
  • Establishing new entity that reviews and certificates privacy protection activities of companies (It seems like different from the "independent privacy commissioner")

In the EU, recently the CNIL and the other national privacy commissioners ordered the Google to change their privacy policy into "multi-layerd" and user-friendly description. The METI's "Label" proposal seems to be similar one.