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METI Conducts a Survey on the Current State of Companies’ Data-related Management and Contracts for the Promotion of Data Utilization

For achieving the social implementation of AI, IoT and other advanced technologies derived from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it is indispensable for Japanese companies to collect and utilize data and develop related technologies as a source of their competitiveness, and the importance of these efforts has been increasing.

To ascertain this situation, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) conducted a survey on the current state of companies’ data-related management, contracts, and other efforts for the promotion of data utilization.

1. Background

When companies intend to exchange data with other companies, they generally conclude a contract concerning procedures for handling data. In this context, companies have been placing more importance on approaches to concluding such a contract in their business strategies.

Aiming to study systems for data utilization, METI conducted a survey on the current state of companies’ data-related management, contracts, and other efforts for the promotion of data utilization.

2. Outline of the survey

Aiming to ascertain the current state of companies’ data management and related contracts, METI conducted a questionnaire and an interview-based survey to target companies, and compiled the survey results into a report.

Details of the survey
Number of target companies that are listed in the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, to which the questionnaire sheets were sent: 2,019
Number of respondent companies: 304 (15.1%)
Interview-based survey
Number of respondent companies: 31

3. Major survey results

In answering the survey questionnaires, METI requested that the companies provide feedback on both their current and future (desirable) practices for handling data.

Concerning the acquisition of data from outside companies, the survey results show that just 42.7% of respondents have been acquiring such data, while 61.5% consider such acquisition as desirable in the future, uncovering the fact that the majority of the respondents wish to acquire data from outside their companies.

Concerning the provision of data to outside companies, the survey results also show that 24.0% of the respondents said that they have been entirely or partially providing data outside their companies, while 32.3% consider such provision as desirable in the future, uncovering the fact that an increasing number of companies wish to provide data outside their companies.

Concerning the legal systems involving unauthorized use of data by third parties, the survey results also show that many respondents request the enhancement of the systems, including the clarification of criteria for damage compensation (69.1%), imposition of more severe fines, imprisonment, and other penalties (66.0%), and injunction demands (60.0%).

Outline of the questionnaire survey results

Options [single choice (n=286)] Desirable practice Current practice
Acquiring data from outside companies 61.5% 42.7%
Not acquiring any data from outside companies 34.3% 57.3%

Question: Concerning data that you have internally generated, acquired or accumulated, do you currently provide or wish to provide such data outside your company? Choose one of the following: current practice or desirable practice. (Question No.18)
 

Options [single choice (n=288)] Desirable practice Current practice
Entirely/partially providing 32.3% 24.0%
Not providing at all 39.6% 50.0%
No idea 23.6% 26.0%

Question: Do you have any idea about the development of legal systems as countermeasures against the unauthorized use by a third party of your data that you have internally acquired, accumulated, analyzed or implemented? Choose all options you consider appropriate. (Question No.39) [Multiple choice (n=285)]

  • Curbing unauthorized use of data by clarifying criteria for damage compensation (69.1%)
  • Curbing unauthorized use of data by imposing more severe fines, imprisonment, and other penalties (66.0%)
  • Minimizing damage caused by unauthorized use of data by filing a request for an injunction demand (60.0%)
  • Establishing a system under which any third party who has improperly acquired data cannot make an approach to other individuals or companies (44.9%)
  • Requiring no special development of legal systems concerning unauthorized use of data (3.2%)

Outline of the interview-based survey results

  • Challenges in promoting data utilization and requests for solving them in terms of policies (responses related to the systems)
  • We hope that the government develops legal systems so that we can file a request for an injunction demand to stop unauthorized use of data by any third party that we have acquired, accumulated, and analyzed by spending time and efforts.
  • To advance data utilization in Japan, it is necessary to develop legal systems under which machine manufacturers are able to protect their data that they have gone to great lengths to accumulate as trade secrets or intellectual property (with no copyright nature) and to file a request for compensation or an injunction demand for damage when they find any unauthorized use of data.

For the full text of the survey report, visit the METI website.

Appendix:

Release date

April 20, 2017

Division in Charge

Intellectual Property Policy Office, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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