ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Technology

Messaging app Line faces Japan action over user privacy flaws

Chinese engineers had access to personal data but no laws broken, panel finds

Line provides Japan's leading messaging app. (Photo by Kosaku Mimura)

TOKYO -- Messaging app provider Line will receive guidance on corrective action soon from a Japanese commission after revelations that software engineers in China had access to the personal information of users, Nikkei has learned.

The Personal Information Protection Commission thinks the company lacked ample safeguards, including clear rules for access rights to user data stored on Japanese servers, people familiar with the government panel's discussions said.

The commission is poised to issue administrative guidance to Line, stopping short of a stronger warning because it sees no evidence of a clear legal violation, these people say.

The exposure of Line users' personal information, including names and telephone numbers, to workers at a Chinese IT systems contractor came to light last month. It was later revealed that such data had been accessed at least 32 times.

The commission conducted an inspection at Line offices in March to check server logs for suspicious activity and determine whether access for the contractor had been restricted.

Until the end of March, Line's privacy policy did not give notice that user information could be managed outside of Japan, in countries such as South Korea and Vietnam. The policy has since been revised. 

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more