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Japan FTC warns IT giants of possible law violation in digital ad mart

  • February 17, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 10:22 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Feb. 17 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Fair Trade Commission warned in a report Wednesday that information technology giants’ inappropriate use of personal data and unilateral changes in terms of contracts with partners in the digital advertising business may constitute an abuse of their dominant bargaining position, banned under the antimonopoly law.

The antimonopoly watchdog’s final report on its fact-finding survey in the digital ad field marks the beginning of the government’s work to regulate IT giants, such as Google LLC of the United States, in the field.

According to the survey results, some platforms for targeted ads use such personal data as location information despite user settings to prevent their website search history from being tracked.

Unless sufficient explanations are given to consumers, such a practice will be regarded as obtaining personal information in an inappropriate way, the FTC clarified in the report.

The commission also warned IT mammoths of the possibility of being charged for violating the law if they cause detriment to digital ad sponsors and website operators by taking advantage of their “dominant position.”

The digital platform service law came into force in Japan on Feb. 1 to encourage IT giants to do business with small companies on fair terms. Japan plans to decide the companies to be covered by the law by spring.

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