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Line's privacy blunder reveals holes in Japan's data rules

Exposure of personal info to Chinese companies raises questions about consent

Chat app provider Line apologized Wednesday for not fully informing users about exposing their data to a Chinese affiliate. (Photo by Kosaku Mimura)

TOKYO -- The admission Wednesday by chat app provider Line that its Chinese affiliates had access to Japanese users' personal data underscores the inadequacy of information privacy regulations governing data that could cross borders.

Line said that certain data was visible to staff members at a Chinese system development affiliate and a Dalian-based contractor. The company apologized for failing to "fully explain to users" that information on Japanese servers could be accessed from China.

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