The puzzle of Japanese data privacy enforcement

Graham Greenleaf, Fumio Shimpo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Japan's data privacy laws have been in force for nearly a decade, sufficient time for evidence of their enforcement to become apparent and be assessed. After explaining briefly the legislative and administrative structure of Japanese data privacy law, this article examines each aspect of the legislation (and associated administrative practices) relevant to enforcement and considers the available evidence of its effectiveness. The article documents the very limited evidence of use and effectiveness of each of the possible types of statutory enforcement in relation to the public sector, and the private sector, and by the co-regulatory systems. It shows that the enforcement mechanisms in the Japanese system are not used to any significant extent, that the ways in which they work are not transparent enough, and that the range of enforcement mechanisms is very limited. Strong but unsubstantiated claims are made by government bodies and academics that Japanese businesses comply with the legislation without being required to do so, but the extent of compliance is a separate enquiry outside the scope of this article. The result is a system that asks observers to take it on trust that it is effective. The absence of evidence is in itself a deficiency, a failure to provide transparency of the enforcement system. Put politely, the effectiveness of Japanese data privacy law remains a puzzle. Major reforms are proposed by the government which may provide much more effective means of enforcement, but are only likely to succeed if they also make that enforcement more transparent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-154
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Data Privacy Law
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May 1

Fingerprint

privacy law
privacy
evidence
legislation
administrative practice
administrative structure
transparency
private sector
public sector
Japan
reform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law

Cite this

The puzzle of Japanese data privacy enforcement. / Greenleaf, Graham; Shimpo, Fumio.

In: International Data Privacy Law, Vol. 4, No. 2, 01.05.2014, p. 139-154.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Greenleaf, Graham ; Shimpo, Fumio. / The puzzle of Japanese data privacy enforcement. In: International Data Privacy Law. 2014 ; Vol. 4, No. 2. pp. 139-154.
@article{6fe8d84ffb544b2c8ec6d7268499cdc1,
title = "The puzzle of Japanese data privacy enforcement",
abstract = "Japan's data privacy laws have been in force for nearly a decade, sufficient time for evidence of their enforcement to become apparent and be assessed. After explaining briefly the legislative and administrative structure of Japanese data privacy law, this article examines each aspect of the legislation (and associated administrative practices) relevant to enforcement and considers the available evidence of its effectiveness. The article documents the very limited evidence of use and effectiveness of each of the possible types of statutory enforcement in relation to the public sector, and the private sector, and by the co-regulatory systems. It shows that the enforcement mechanisms in the Japanese system are not used to any significant extent, that the ways in which they work are not transparent enough, and that the range of enforcement mechanisms is very limited. Strong but unsubstantiated claims are made by government bodies and academics that Japanese businesses comply with the legislation without being required to do so, but the extent of compliance is a separate enquiry outside the scope of this article. The result is a system that asks observers to take it on trust that it is effective. The absence of evidence is in itself a deficiency, a failure to provide transparency of the enforcement system. Put politely, the effectiveness of Japanese data privacy law remains a puzzle. Major reforms are proposed by the government which may provide much more effective means of enforcement, but are only likely to succeed if they also make that enforcement more transparent.",
author = "Graham Greenleaf and Fumio Shimpo",
year = "2014",
month = "5",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1093/idpl/ipu007",
language = "English",
volume = "4",
pages = "139--154",
journal = "International Data Privacy Law",
issn = "2044-3994",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The puzzle of Japanese data privacy enforcement

AU - Greenleaf, Graham

AU - Shimpo, Fumio

PY - 2014/5/1

Y1 - 2014/5/1

N2 - Japan's data privacy laws have been in force for nearly a decade, sufficient time for evidence of their enforcement to become apparent and be assessed. After explaining briefly the legislative and administrative structure of Japanese data privacy law, this article examines each aspect of the legislation (and associated administrative practices) relevant to enforcement and considers the available evidence of its effectiveness. The article documents the very limited evidence of use and effectiveness of each of the possible types of statutory enforcement in relation to the public sector, and the private sector, and by the co-regulatory systems. It shows that the enforcement mechanisms in the Japanese system are not used to any significant extent, that the ways in which they work are not transparent enough, and that the range of enforcement mechanisms is very limited. Strong but unsubstantiated claims are made by government bodies and academics that Japanese businesses comply with the legislation without being required to do so, but the extent of compliance is a separate enquiry outside the scope of this article. The result is a system that asks observers to take it on trust that it is effective. The absence of evidence is in itself a deficiency, a failure to provide transparency of the enforcement system. Put politely, the effectiveness of Japanese data privacy law remains a puzzle. Major reforms are proposed by the government which may provide much more effective means of enforcement, but are only likely to succeed if they also make that enforcement more transparent.

AB - Japan's data privacy laws have been in force for nearly a decade, sufficient time for evidence of their enforcement to become apparent and be assessed. After explaining briefly the legislative and administrative structure of Japanese data privacy law, this article examines each aspect of the legislation (and associated administrative practices) relevant to enforcement and considers the available evidence of its effectiveness. The article documents the very limited evidence of use and effectiveness of each of the possible types of statutory enforcement in relation to the public sector, and the private sector, and by the co-regulatory systems. It shows that the enforcement mechanisms in the Japanese system are not used to any significant extent, that the ways in which they work are not transparent enough, and that the range of enforcement mechanisms is very limited. Strong but unsubstantiated claims are made by government bodies and academics that Japanese businesses comply with the legislation without being required to do so, but the extent of compliance is a separate enquiry outside the scope of this article. The result is a system that asks observers to take it on trust that it is effective. The absence of evidence is in itself a deficiency, a failure to provide transparency of the enforcement system. Put politely, the effectiveness of Japanese data privacy law remains a puzzle. Major reforms are proposed by the government which may provide much more effective means of enforcement, but are only likely to succeed if they also make that enforcement more transparent.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84929092346&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84929092346&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/idpl/ipu007

DO - 10.1093/idpl/ipu007

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84929092346

VL - 4

SP - 139

EP - 154

JO - International Data Privacy Law

JF - International Data Privacy Law

SN - 2044-3994

IS - 2

ER -