JAPAN: How to Protect User Information Without Harming Social Media

According to The Daily Yomiuri, Japan’s leading English daily, some e-book apps have allegedly been compiling private information on their users, many without consent. In response, industry experts and one Japanese government ministry have called for the drafting of strict guidelines.

Two of the apps accused of gathering information are Viewn, a program featuring a selection of “magazines, newspapers and television programs,” and Magastore, which allows “users to download 320 magazines and other items.” The personal information compiled includes user names, e-mail addresses, and pages they tend to favor. Such data has, in some instances, been given “to advertising companies for use in behavior-targeting ads.”

In response, Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry has “called together a panel of experts” to develop regulations on the gathering of user information via smartphone apps. They hope to have the guidelines drafted by June of this year.

The effort is obviously necessary – but one hopes the government’s proposed cure doesn’t turn out to be worse than the disease.

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The Daily Yomiuri

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