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Japan to tighten screws on tech giants to ensure transparency

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Get ready for a new "term" in Japanese, GAFA. That is what NHK was calling these companies when they were talking about this legislation.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

That's an ironic decision.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

^^^yes, pot calling the kettle black really

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Agree with the above 3 posters.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Google and Facebook have opposed tighter regulation, while traditional media owners, including Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, have backed reform.

I'll bet the only reason New's corp is for the laws, is because they have been losing ground (money) as a service to these "platform corporations" and anything they can do to "stick" it to them, to make things harder to operate, or make them spend more money, may mean better business for them!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

At the end of the day, these tighter regulations are for one thing. Japanese tech companies are slow to evolve and are losing ground too quickly to outside firms. So these laws are to help give them an advantage.

You can't blame Google, Facebook, Amazon and other foreign tech companies for working better within the Japanese and with the Japanese people than the Japanese companies are.

It's just like when they placed limitations on Apple with the iPhone that Sony didn't have to go through.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I'll bet the only reason New's corp is for the laws, is because they have been losing ground (money) as a service to these "platform corporations" and anything they can do to "stick" it to them, to make things harder to operate, or make them spend more money, may mean better business for them!

That's what I was thinking too. You hit the nail on the head.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Seriously? Shift the focus.... The government has been caught in so many lies and mishandling it is not funny. The pension fund is a joke how much money they lost on "riskier investments".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is protectionism hidden behind a load of crap. Japanese companies can't compete and now the government wants to restrict the ability of this companies to operate on the Japanese market.

With regard to the anti-monopoly law, the Fair Trade Commission

Which monopoly? So why aren't they saying anything on the multiple monopolies on different sectors hold by Japanese companies inside the country? Monopoly acquired not by better products, services and technology but by protectionism organized by the Japanese government and Japan Inc

For protection of personal data, the government will revise the personal information protection law to allow individuals to request digital firms to suspend the use of their data. The law currently regulates the handling of data collected by illicit means.

Oh yeah? I don't remember the government speaking about protection of personal data when the T Card customer data was handed to police and prosecutors without court approval since 2012. Oh maybe they are just shameless hypocrites? And not mention that since when personal data are protected in Japan in any way? They are often shared between entities without never bothering,

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Get ready for a new "term" in Japanese, GAFA. That is what NHK was calling these companies when they were talking about this legislation.

The term GAFA is neither that new nor Japanese.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This should be welcomed. Google and Facebook have become advanced propaganda tools. Since they target individuals based on hundreds of data points, they are far more effective than traditional media like News Corp which will also give you news and opinions that someone else pays for, only for a much weaker generalized model of the "XYZ Times" reader. If you spend much time on them, Google and Facebook will know you better than your family and friends.

Note that these four companies are also rampant in other countries, so this is not a particular failing of any competitors in Japan. If LINE, the most obvious Japanese rival, is reading everyone's messages, creating advanced data models, and allowing advertisers to hit the user with fake news, then yes, it should be restricted in the same way. This is not a Japan vs foreign companies problem.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I don't get this obsession of breaking apart tech. These are companies with potentially the lowest barrier to entry, it's just that most business are not as efficient and worse for the consumer, but there is no lack of competitor sites you can visit. Why punish companies that are doing things well?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

At the end of the day, these tighter regulations are for one thing. Japanese tech companies are slow to evolve and are losing ground too quickly to outside firms. So these laws are to help give them an advantage.

There's actually nothing wrong with protectionism. It's a bit corny, yes, but it's better than one's economy being taken over.

Of course, there's a lesson here: why are Japanese companies slow to evolve and what can they do about it? But, I fear the older gen guys running these companies don't know or don't care and will keep doing the same thing until they're gone.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I don't get this obsession of breaking apart tech. These are companies with potentially the lowest barrier to entry, it's just that most business are not as efficient and worse for the consumer, but there is no lack of competitor sites you can visit. Why punish companies that are doing things well?

On the face of it, the argument (from Warren, for example) is that big tech is abusing antitrust laws and creating virtual monopolies and then using people's information willy-nilly. However, that's the 2D view of things. In reality, the government doesn't want to compete with tech for information and power; it believes tech should be subservient to government intelligence gathering and act as an arm of "big intelligence", if you will.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Note that these four companies are also rampant in other countries, so this is not a particular failing of any competitors in Japan.

This is failing of competitors in Japan as much it is failing of competitors in other countries. And most of them including Japan are reacting by protectionism because they can't compete technologically. Unless they do like the Chinese and just steal these companies IP.

Now I find the term GAFA (which actually originated in France) very silly since it puts under the same term and hence designation all those companies. But they are not in the same business. Apple is in a very different business in comparison to Facebook or Google, same for Amazon. I agree that Google and Facebook issues with personal data is a problem to consider. But then the same should be said to Japanese companies shady handling of personal data. I understand that Facebook and social media big influence on politics and society is an issue because they have become an influential medium. But then what about the shady links between the Japanese government and Japan Inc which basically drive and define the Japanese society?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japanese companies shady handling of personal data.

Are there any examples of this relating to fake news? The ones I've heard have been very slack security and non-consensual selling on. The latter is now a given for the companies in the article.

Propaganda and fake news are brainwashing, "Big Brother" if you like. "We have always been at war with Eurasia" is the original fake news. This is a whole different problem to someone who searches for "bunions" being targeted for ads about ointments.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Almost every other country in the world has done similar laws. Some will ban this companies outright.

If laws don't protect small businesses than a few giant ones like Facebook and Amazon would dominate all markets.

Trolls know better but will always give bad advice when it comes to Japan.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Japanese companies shady handling of personal data.

> Are there any examples of this relating to fake news? 

I was talking about personal data, why are you asking about fake news? You are not making sense so please read properly people's post.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Almost every other country in the world has done similar laws. Some will ban this companies outright.

Yeah yeah, would you say the same thing if a Japanese company would be treated like that? I bet no and neither all hypocrites like you would. You would be crying out how a big victim Japan is.

If laws don't protect small businesses than a few giant ones like Facebook and Amazon would dominate all markets.

This is a simplistic and naive view. Those giants became giants because they offered better products that people decided to use. They didn't force nobody to use their products.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is exactly the first step of making the nation hit the rock bottom. Time to stop sticking vested interests.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I wonder, does the Law deal with the offshoring of that Personal data, since PPI already caters for protection of user information when held within Japan, but with the likes of Facebook, if the datacenters are outside of Japan.... then what ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Stay away from their toxic products. Limit usage.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and worked for years in tech in the south bay (aka: Silicon Valley). LOL, Japan... good grief. This is why talent leaves your country. Make your silly rules and drive only your cars, eat your rice, drink your beer and use your Yahoo! which is a dead company (see Verizone if interested) in the rest of the world. LOL, sad...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This law is a good idea. All giant companies are monopolistic in nature and that is always bad for the consumer. Giant traditional companies are often forced to sell off whole sectors to improve competition and to open themselves up to regulators to ensure that there are no anti-competitve practices taking place. Why should big tech monopolies be treated any differently than traditional companies?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What about Rakuten, Sony, Line etc? Oh, that's right......

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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