Online Privacy Protection in Japan: The Current Status and Practices

Online Privacy Protection in Japan: The Current Status and Practices

J. Michael Tarn (Western Michigan University, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-012-7.ch019
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Abstract

This chapter explores the current status and practices of online privacy protection in Japan. Since the concept of privacy in Japan is different from that in western countries, the background of online privacy concepts and control mechanisms are discussed. The chapter then introduces Japan’s Act on the Protection of Personal Information along with the privacy protection system in Japan. Following the discussion of the privacy law, Japan’s privacy protection mechanisms to support and implement the new act are examined. To help companies make smooth adjustments and transitions, a four-stage privacy protection solution model is presented. Further, this chapter discusses two case studies to exemplify the problems and dilemmas encountered by two Japanese enterprises. The cases are analyzed and their implications are discussed. The chapter is concluded with future trends and research directions.
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Background

The concept of privacy in Japan is different from that in western countries. Japan is a country with a very high density of population. People are living right next to each other, and it seems like there are no boundaries and there is no privacy. However, these are the characteristics of the Japanese people who indeed understand and respect privacy (Makoto et al., 2005). Even though there is only a thin wall between rooms, people can have privacy with “as if” behavior. For example, even though one person knows another’s secret, he or she will act as if they do not know the secret (Mizutani, Dorsey, & Moor, 2004). It describes how Japanese people respect each other’s boundaries and help keep secrets. It is also important to understand that the Japanese culture is group-based. Within the group, people respect each other and try to think and move in the same direction. Although they have their own minds and thoughts, they always consider how other people in the group think first, and then decide what to do, heavily depending on the group’s opinions. Often people do not use eye or body contact as frequently as western people do because of the different perception of privacy they have in mind (Makoto et al., 2005).

However, the Internet has created a new environment for privacy. People can obtain, access, and manage enormous amounts of information without actual face-to-face interaction. People can express their opinions anonymously and they can act any way they like on the Internet. Anonymity has a major impact on the Japanese conception of privacy because people no longer have to depend on the group mind, since on the Internet information can be easily reached and individual thinking is promoted and encouraged. In other words, before the Internet was introduced, the group-based society had bound most people’s behavior. However, after the Internet became everyone’s platform, limitations from the group society were diminishing, which, on the other hand, advanced the concept of privacy protection in Japan (Mizutani et al., 2004).

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Table of Contents
Acknowledgment
Kuanchin Chen, Adam Fadlalla
Chapter 1
Andrew Pauxtis
What began as simple homepages that listed favorite Web sites in the early 1990’s have grown into some of the most sophisticated, enormous... Sample PDF
Google: Technological Convenience vs. Technological Intrusion
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Chapter 2
Angelena M. Secor
In this chapter, consumer online privacy legal issues are identified and discussed. Followed by the literature review in consumer online privacy... Sample PDF
A Taxonomic View of Consumer Online Privacy Legal Issues, Legislation, and Litigation
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Chapter 3
Hy Sockel, Louis K. Falk
There are many potential threats that come with conducting business in an online environment. Management must find a way to neutralize or at least... Sample PDF
Online Privacy, Vulnerabilities, and Threats: A Manager's Perspective
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Chapter 4
Thejs Willem Jansen
Governments and large companies are increasingly relying on information technology to provide enhanced services to the citizens and customers and... Sample PDF
Practical Privacy Assessments
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Chapter 5
Leszek Lilien, Bharat Bhargava
Any interaction—from a simple transaction to a complex collaboration—requires an adequate level of trust between interacting parties. Trust includes... Sample PDF
Privacy and Trust in Online Interactions
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Chapter 6
Huong Ha, Ken Coghill
The current measures to protect e-consumers’ privacy in Australia include (i) regulation/legislation; (ii) guidelines; (iii) codes of practice; and... Sample PDF
Current Measures to Protect E-Consumers' Privacy in Australia
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Chapter 7
Anil Gurung, Anurag Jain
Individuals are generally concerned about their privacy and may withhold from disclosing their personal information while interacting with online... Sample PDF
Antecedents of Online Privacy Protection Behavior: Towards an Integrative Model
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Chapter 8
Alan Rea, Kuanchin Chen
Protecting personal information while Web surfing has become a struggle. This is especially the case when transactions require a modicum of trust to... Sample PDF
Privacy Control and Assurance: Does Gender Influence Online Information Exchange?
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Chapter 9
Bernadette H. Schell, Thomas J. Holt
This chapter looks at the literature—myths and realities—surrounding the demographics, psychological predispositions, and social/behavioral patterns... Sample PDF
A Profile of the Demographics, Psychological Predispositions, and Social/Behavioral Patterns of Computer Hacker Insiders and Outsiders
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Chapter 10
Chiung-wen ("Julia") Hsu
This chapter introduces a situational paradigm as a means of studying online privacy. It argues that data subjects are not always opponent to data... Sample PDF
Privacy or Performance Matters on the Internet: Revisiting Privacy Toward a Situational Paradigm
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Chapter 11
Tom S. Chan
While delivering content via the Internet can be efficient and economical, content owners risk losing control of their intellectual property. Any... Sample PDF
Online Consumer Privacy and Digital Rights Management Systems
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Chapter 12
Betty J. Parker
Marketing practices have always presented challenges for consumers seeking to protect their privacy. This chapter discusses the ways in which the... Sample PDF
Online Privacy and Marketing: Current Issues for Consumers and Marketers
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Chapter 13
Suhong Li
The purpose of this chapter is to investigate the current status of online privacy policies of Fortune 100 Companies. It was found that 94% of the... Sample PDF
An Analysis of Online Privacy Policies of Fortune 100 Companies
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Chapter 14
Andy Chiou
In this chapter, the authors will briefly discuss some cross cultural concerns regarding Internet privacy. The authors believe that due to the cross... Sample PDF
Cross Cultural Perceptions on Privacy in the United States, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Taiwan
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Chapter 15
Sean Lancaster
Biometrics is an application of technology to authenticate users’ identities through the measurement of physiological or behavioral patterns. The... Sample PDF
Biometric Controls and Privacy
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Chapter 16
G. Scott Erickson
This chapter focuses on the specific issue of the federal Freedom of Information Act and associated state and local freedom of information laws.... Sample PDF
Government Stewardship of Online Information: FOIA Requirements and Other Considerations
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Chapter 17
Charles O’Mahony
This chapter will discuss the legal framework for consumer and data protection in Europe. Central to this discussion will be the law of the European... Sample PDF
The Legal Framework for Data and Consumer Protection in Europe
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Chapter 18
Karin Mika
This chapter provides an overview of law relating to online and Internet medical practice, data protection, and consumer information privacy. It... Sample PDF
Cybermedicine, Telemedicine, and Data Protection in the United States
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Chapter 19
J. Michael Tarn
This chapter explores the current status and practices of online privacy protection in Japan. Since the concept of privacy in Japan is different... Sample PDF
Online Privacy Protection in Japan: The Current Status and Practices
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About the Contributors