The EU Commission hopes to issue Japan with an adequacy decision on international data transfers by early 2018.
A joint statement of 4 July by Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, and Haruhi Kumazawa, a Commissioner of Japan’s Personal Information Protection Commission, gave an update on the state of play of their data protection dialogue.
A meeting took place in Brussels on 3 July to advance the dialogue ‘with a view to promoting high standards of data protection as a fundamental right and a central factor of consumer trust in the digital economy’.
The parties ‘welcome the work carried out over the course of the last months by the Secretariat of the Personal Information Protection Commission of Japan and the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers of the European Commission. This dialogue has significantly strengthened the mutual understanding of the EU and Japanese data protection rules. On the basis of that work, they acknowledged that the recent reforms of their respective privacy legislation have further increased the convergence between their two systems. These developments offer new opportunities to further facilitate smooth and mutual data flows, in particular, through a simultaneous finding of an adequate level of protection by both sides’.
Japan has previously been criticised for its lack of enforcement – Japan’s tradition of public apology has also been applied in the privacy field together with some court cases [see Hiroshi Miyashita’s article in PL&B International Report, October 2015]. An important development last year was the establishment of the Personal Information Protection Commission, which is the central data protection body. Recent amendments to Japan’s Act on the Protection of Personal Information (APPI) took full effect on 30 May 2017.
The EU Commission has announced that it has also engaged in adequacy talks with South Korea.