Japan Govt to tighten regulations against tech firms
Amid concerns about monopoly and users personal data, Japan’s government is planning to set up a new regulatory system to watch over big tech firms such as Facebook and Google.
According to a presentation made at a government advisory panel on Wednesday, the new regulator will examine competitive practices, the protection of personal data, and make anti-trust recommendations.
The new body will also draw up new guidelines to evaluate whether mergers and acquisitions will lead to a monopoly on messaging data or personal data.
The government hopes to finalize the plans for the new regulator by the soon, but it is still uncertain when it will become fully operational.
At the meeting on Wednesday, bureaucrats gave a presentation to cabinet ministers showing how Facebook, Google, Amazon.com, China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings and China’s top search engine Baidu have increased influence by expanding into payment systems, retail shops, self-driving cars, drones, and interconnected devices.
The growth of the digital economy does have some merits, such as making it easier to reach new customers and generate profits at lower costs, according to the presentation.
But, it said some big technology companies could abuse their influence with arbitrary search results, high fees, sudden changes to terms of usage, and unfair contracts with suppliers.