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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 October 27 - November 2  > Use of US IT firms for Japan's G-Cloud may endanger citizen's privacy
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2021 October 27 - November 2 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Use of US IT firms for Japan's G-Cloud may endanger citizen's privacy

November 1, 2021

Japan's Digital Agency on October 26 announced that the government will adopt the U.S. Amazon Web Service (AWS) and the U.S. Google Cloud Platform (GCP) as trial service providers for the nationwide cloud computing system "Government Cloud" which covers all municipalities as well as central government ministries and agencies.

Concerns are growing about entrusting the Japanese government's information and people's personal data to foreign firms, and that the constitutional principle of local autonomy may be infringed upon.

During a Cabinet Committee meeting on March 31, Hirai Takuya, minister in charge of digital transformation at that time, opposed limiting personal data management only to domestic entities. He, in effect, admitted to transfers of information outside the country.

Is it acceptable for a national government to give its citizens' personal information to foreign companies?

The Japanese government is planning to migrate 17 key tasks such as pertaining to the nation's public health insurance, public assistance, and nursing-care insurance over to the G-Cloud by fiscal 2025.

Local municipalities will not be able to customize an information system to suit their circumstances and will have to conduct their tasks regarding public services within the range of the G-Could. It is quite likely that this will negatively impact public services and will infringe upon the principle of local autonomy.

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