Thank you very much for your purchase of Ryoden products and services. My name is Ryuji Takeuchi and I am an engineer with Ryoden Corporation’s New Business Promotion Department.
As an introduction to security technology, I would like to explain to you how personal data is utilized. I will divide my discussion into three parts.
According to Japan’s Cabinet Office, Society 5.0 is a people-focused society that strives to grow its economy and solve social problems through the fusion of cyberspace (virtual spaces) and physical (real) spaces. Because it is people-centered, Society 5.0 requires that personal data be used safely, fairly and effectively. The most effective tool for that purpose is PLR.
In 2019 a number of credit-scoring services began full-fledge operation. Examples include LINE Score, operated LINE, and J.Score, affiliated with Mizuho Bank, Ltd., and each has its own distinctive feature sets. While many of these features are welcome, such as reflection of point scores in rates of point return, a low score can lead to disadvantageous treatment such as postponement of hospital treatment and inability to buy air tickets, rendering these new services undesirable.
2. Special Contracts for Discounts on Health Checkups
Many life-insurance companies are launching services with the catchphrase, “Get a discount on your health insurance just by producing a health certificate.”
First out of the gates was the Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Ltd., which launched its “health checkup discount” in March 2018. Other life-insurance companies followed suit. To encourage people to improve their own health, these companies offer a service that pays refunds based on data such as number of steps taken and vital signs, recorded on customers’ smartphones and wearable devices. These are services everyone should take advantage of, as nothing is of more direct concern to us than our health.
3. Information Banks
An information bank is a mechanism by which individuals’ electronic data, including activity histories, purchase histories and so forth, is deposited and centrally managed, then matched with third-party operators, anonymized and provided to those third parties. Simply put, just as individuals deposit cash into banks and entrust them with its management, individuals deposit information in an information bank and entrust the information bank with the information’s management.
In Japan, the first version of a system for certification of information banks by the Information Technology Federation of Japan was formed in 2019, when they certified a service provided by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and FeliCa Pocket Marketing Inc. Numerous other information banks have been launched as well, with entries announced by market participants as varied as Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd., My Data Intelligence Inc. (a Dentsu Inc. affiliate) and Chubu Electric Power Company.
We’ve discussed in Part 2 that PLR is a form of distributed PDS. When the topic is distributed systems, the conversation often turns to blockchain.
This time I would like to describe the characteristics of blockchain and its relationship to PLR.
The most significant characteristics of blockchain are that it is highly resistant to tampering and that the system’s reliability is guaranteed not by one specific operator but by a network of many operators. However, the size of data that can be written into blocks is limited in order to guarantee processing speed. In addition, information once written on the blockchain cannot be altered or deleted. These features make it unrealistic to store personal data, which is subject to frequent changes, in a blockchain network.
Small items of related data extracted from personal data managed by PLR, such as personal data hash values, may be written on a blockchain as a solution. This example shows that blockchain is one important application that should be connected to PLR for the utilization of personal data.