The EU and Japan have reached a “reciprocal adequacy” agreement to allow data to flow more easily between them. As part of a larger bilateral trade deal which included commitments by both parties to reduce tariffs, Japan also agreed to enact additional safeguards to comply with new EU data protection standards. Those additional safeguards include increased data subject rights to access and correction, restrictions upon transfers of EU data from Japan to third countries, and limits on the use of sensitive data. Japan’s independent data protection authority would have enforcement authority over the new rules, and would investigate and resolve complaints from European data subjects. If it is approved by internal committees and regulators in both the EU and Japan, the deal will come into effect this Fall. This agreement comes after pressure this summer from the EU Parliament to suspend the US-EU agreement currently in place (the “Privacy Shield” program).
Putting it Into Practice: While several steps will need to be taken before this agreement is put into place, it demonstrates that countries are increasingly looking at the international flow of data, in particular between the EU and non-EU countries.