European Commission adopts adequacy decision on Japan, creating the world's largest area of safe data flows
The Commission has adopted today its adequacy decision on Japan, allowing personal data to flow freely between the two economies on the basis of strong protection guarantees.
The key elements of the adequacy decision:
Before the Commission adopted its adequacy decision, Japan put in place additional safeguards to guarantee that data transferred from the EU enjoy protection guarantees in line with European standards. This includes:
- A set of rules (Supplementary Rules) that will bridge several differences between the two data protection systems. These additional safeguards will strengthen, for example, the protection of sensitive data, the exercise of individual rights and the conditions under which EU data can be further transferred from Japan to another third country. These Supplementary Rules will be binding on Japanese companies importing data from the EU and enforceable by the Japanese independent data protection authority (PPC) and courts.
- The Japanese government also gave assurances to the Commission regarding safeguards concerning the access of Japanese public authorities for criminal law enforcement and national security purposes, ensuring that any such use of personal data would be limited to what is necessary and proportionate and subject to independent oversight and effective redress mechanisms.
- A complaint-handling mechanism to investigate and resolve complaints from Europeans regarding access to their data by Japanese public authorities. This new mechanism will be administered and supervised by the Japanese independent data protection authority.
The adequacy decisions also complement the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement- which will enter into force in February 2019. European companies will benefit from free data flows with a key commercial partner, as well as from privileged access to the 127 million Japanese consumers. The EU and Japan affirm that, in the digital era, promoting high privacy and personal data protection standards and facilitating international trade must and can go hand in hand.
The adequacy decision – as well as the equivalent decision on the Japanese side –will start applying as of today.
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