Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

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Press Release

January 18, 2012

“Working Group on the user information sent through smartphone” to be opened under Study Group on consumer issues with ICT services

 The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) has decided to open a “Working Group on the user information sent through smartphone” under Study Group on consumer issues with ICT services in order to ascertain current conditions (including trends of foreign countries) and issues and consider policies necessary for the handling of user information, etc. so that user information from smartphone is applied in a safe and secure manner and highly convenient services are provided.

1. Background and purpose

 Smartphone, which are spreading rapidly around the world, are PC-level devices with Internet utilization as standard, and are often used with various downloadable applications.

 Since smartphone' contact time with users is comparatively longer than that of PCs, smartphone store a great deal of user-related information, including phone/e-mail utilization logs and directory data, location information, application utilization logs, and so on.

 This user information stored on smartphone is collected and used in various forms by applications, etc., and such information is often provided to third parties. It is believed that there is often a lack of user awareness of such handling of information.

In view of the circumstances described above, this Working Group will be opened in order to ascertain current conditions (including trends of foreign countries) and issues and consider policies necessary for the handling of user information, etc. so that user information from smartphone is applied in a safe and secure manner highly convenient services are provided.

2. Items for consideration

(1) Current conditions in relation to smartphone

  ・ Various characteristics of smartphone utilization and provision of services, etc.

(2) Issues and matters for consideration from the perspective of users

  ・ How to handle user information

・ Information of which users should be aware and how stakeholders concerned can make

information known, etc.

(3) Necessary support

  ・Desirable handling of user information

  ・Direction of initiatives for each stakeholder and international cooperation, etc.

3. Timing of meetings

 The first meeting will be held in January 2012, with a report to be compiled in approximately June 2012.
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For further information about this press release, please fill in the inquiry form and submit it to MIC on the website
https://www.soumu.go.jp/common/english_opinions.html

International Policy Division,
Global ICT Strategy Bureau, MIC
TEL: +81 3 5253 5920 / FAX: +81 3 5253 5924

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