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Japan takes step toward enormous bank of personal data

Information would help businesses tailor products, services

The information bank would pave the way for companies to market products and services suited to an individual, rather than a crowd.

TOKYO -- Japan is ramping up efforts to create a data bank that stores a range of personal information ranging from social network profiles to online shopping histories, with plans to launch the framework on a trial basis by the end of the year.

The so-called information bank would store data on customers currently held by companies and public entities. If an individual consents to the data being shared, the bank would provide the information to businesses in exchange for a fee. The platform could be run by a system development company or a telecommunications provider, for example.

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