East Japan Railway Co. this month began selling records of the use of Suica cards--without notifying the cardholders of the sale, it has been learned.
JR East issues the cards, which are pre-paid e-money cards that can double as commuter passes. The cards are used by about 43 million bus and train commuters primarily in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
Although JR East says the records are being sold without revealing cardholders' names to a private company for market research purposes, it failed to provide prior notice of such sales to cardholders.
The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry has launched an investigation to see if the sales constitute a violation of the Personal Information Protection Law, while warning the railway operator that it should have notified cardholders of the sale of such information to a third party.
Hitachi, Ltd., which is buying the data from JR East, is selling analyzed data for market research purposes, such as each station's traffic level and the types of passengers using them. The analyzed data is estimated to bring in annual sales of at least 5 million yen, according to Hitachi.
Investigators have found 7.85 million passwords, credit card numbers and other pieces of stolen personal information on an Internet server seized last year from a Tokyo-based firm that provided proxy servers for Chinese users, Tokyo police said Friday. (Japan Times)
Time magazine has named two Japanese among its list of the world's 100 most influential people of 2015: novelist Haruki Murakami and Marie Kondo, an organizing consultant whose book introducing her art of tidying up became a best-seller. (NHK)
Central Japan Railway Co., or JR Tokai, said Thursday its magnetic levitation Shinkansen train achieved the world's fastest train speed of 590 kilometers per hour on a test line in central Japan. (Jiji Press)
Police in Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture, are investigating the murder of an 84-year-old woman whose body was found in the Tatara River on April 15. She had a plastic bag over her head and a scarf pulled tightly around her neck when she was found. (Japan Today)
A movie by Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda has been shortlisted in competition for best picture at the Cannes International Film Festival in France. Cannes is one of the world's 3 major film festivals. (NHK)
Police in Toride, Ibaraki Prefecture, said Thursday they are questioning a 36-year-old man over an incident on Wednesday morning in which a 47-year-old man was shot in the calf by an arrow from a crossbow as he was riding his bike home. (Japan Today)
The Tokyo Metropolitan Fire Department said Wednesday that its emergency 119 line was down for about four hours from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday. It was the second time in two months that the 119 had been inaccessible. (Japan Today)