Act concerning Protection of Personal Information (Japan Law No. 57, 2003)
[Personal Information Protection Law (Japan)]
Chapter One General Provisions
Article 1 The purpose of this Law is, in the light of the remarkable expansion of utilization of personal information with the progress of the information society, to stipulate the basic concepts and the basic policies of the Government regarding the proper handling of personal information and other basic matters in connection with the protection of personal information, to clarify the duties of the State and the local governments in relation therewith, and to protect the rights and interests of individuals by stipulating the obligations to be complied with by the businesses handling personal information while taking the usefulness of personal information into consideration.
Article 2 (1) In this Law, “personal information” means the information about a living individual, which contains the name, the date of birth and/or any other descriptions by which a specific individual can be identified (including information that can be easily collated with other information so that a specific individual can be identified).
(2) In this Law, “personal information database” means the collection of information containing personal information, which –
1. is systematically structured so that specific personal information can be retrieved by computer, or,
2. except that described above, is considered by the Government decree to be systematically structured so that specific personal information can be retrieved.
(3) In this Law, “business handling personal information” means any entity utilizing the personal information database for doing the business, except –
1. government agencies,
2. local governments,
3. independent administrative corporations (which means independent administrative corporations defined in paragraph 1 of Article 2 of Law concerning the Protection of Personal Information Held by the Independent Administrative Corporations (Law No. 59, 2003). The same definition shall apply hereinafter.)
4. local independent administrative corporations (which means local independent administrative corporations defined in paragraph 1 of Article 2 of Independent Administrative Corporations Law (Law No. 108, 2003). The same definition shall apply hereinafter.)
5. The entity considered by the Government decree to be unlikely to cause serious damages to the rights and the interests of individuals, in view of the amount of the personal information handled by it and the way of using such information.
(4) In this Law, “personal data” means the personal information of which the personal information database is composed.
(5) In this Law, “retained personal data” means the personal data which the personal information handling business is capable of disclosing, and correcting, adding to or partially or completely deleting, and stopping from being provided to third parties, except those considered by the Government decree to damage the public interests and/or any other interests when its existence is known or those to be deleted within the period of one year or less which is stipulated by the Government decree.
(6) In this Law, “principal” means, in connection with personal information, any specific individual to be identified by that personal information.
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