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Age of 'big data capitalism' dawns

Personal information is 'the new oil' as companies identify enormous opportunities

An app offered by Tokyu that checks congestion at train stations is used at Daikanyama Station in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward.

TOKYO -- The age of "big data capitalism" has begun, enabling companies and other concerns to use vast amounts of data as a new kind of growth driver. In Japan, big data will become easier to use due to the imminent revision of the personal information protection law.

A humanoid robot occasionally appears at a wine shop in the flagship store of Isetan department store in Shinjuku, Tokyo, offering three kinds of wine to visitors for taste testing. Visitors enter comments such as "dry" and "sweet," as well as their reaction to each sample, and the robot recommends a wine.

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