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Japan paves way for selling anonymized data

Purchase records, vehicle trip info valuable for R&D

Driving history data soon will be available for sale in Japan.

TOKYO -- Japan will permit unrestricted sales of data such as credit card transactions and routes traveled by cars if the companies properly remove personally identifiable information, a move that could power the development of products closely tailored to customer tastes.

The Personal Information Protection Commission has set forth methods for processing five types of data: credit card transactions, transaction histories from point-of-sale terminals, driving data from automobiles, railroad trip data and electricity use. Such processing will let this data be used for secondary purposes without the subject's permission under rules that take effect May 30, when a revised law concerning personal information goes into full force.

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