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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 May 27 - June 2  > ‘Super city’ bill without privacy protection enacted
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2020 May 27 - June 2 [POLITICS]

‘Super city’ bill without privacy protection enacted

May 28, 2020
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Daimon Mikishi on May 27 at a House plenary meeting opposed a bill which will promote the use of artificial intelligence with deregulation while providing no measure to protect privacy and individual’s rights.

The bill is aimed to revise the National Strategic Special Zone Act in order to promote “super city” projects utilizing cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence and big data analytics systems in special zones through Cabinet Office-led regulatory reforms. The bill was approved and enacted with the majority vote of the ruling Liberal Democratic and Komei parties.

In the discussions prior to the vote, JCP Daimon pointed out that in any region which introduces a privately-run “super city” scheme, residents’ personal information will be managed unitarily by a corporation administrating the scheme. He warned that “super city” projects entail a high risk of breaches in privacy and individual’s rights. He also pointed out that the government in Diet deliberations reiterated that people’s personal data will be protected under relevant legislation, but the level of legal protection of privacy in Japan is insufficient in comparison with the rapid IT development.

Furthermore, the JCP lawmaker referred to the fact that the governments of some countries use the spread of the coronavirus as a pretext to strengthen their system for monitoring people’s activities and persuade people to voluntarily provide their personal information to the government. He stressed that what is important is to discuss how to utilize high technology in improving people’s wellbeing while securing people’s right to privacy. He urged the government to withdraw the “super city” bill designed primarily to respond to demands from the profit-oriented sector.

Past related article:
> JCP Tamura: Bill on ‘super city’ initiative is controversial due to lack of privacy protection [May 14, 2020]
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