Data Controller License Requirement Lifted

by Mark Brown

Non-government data controllers in the finance, telecommunications, and insurance sectors will no longer have to apply for a license in order to collect personal data, following recent amendments to the 1995 Computer-Processed Personal Data Protection Act (the CDPA) promulgated on May 26, 2010.
Taiwan’s legislature approved extensive revisions to the CDPA last April, but the effective date of the amended law, the Data Protection Act (the DPA), is to be determined by the Executive Yuan, according to the DPA. Although the DPA is not expected to come into force until sometime in 2011, the Executive Yuan has yet to make any sort of official announcement on when the entirety of the new act will come into effect. Until then, non-government data controllers will still need to follow the other rules outlined in the CPDA, with the exception of the licensing requirement.
Among its various amendments, the DPA deletes Article 19-22 and 43 from the CDPA, the articles that state the licensing rules. These deletions took effect upon the president’s 26 May 2010 announcement. Companies that have recently applied for a data collection license may have their application canceled and obtain a full fee refund.

The DPA will extend the application of the data protection regime to any individual, organization or enterprise that collects, processes or employs personal data, while the current CDPA applies only to public agencies or a limited list of private businesses, such as the insurance and financial industries. The DPA also extends the scope of personal data, sets obligations to inform data subjects, prohibits the collection of certain types of data, and grants administrative authorities various means to sanction data controllers that violate the act.
Further information about the Data Protection Act can be found in this previous article.

A version of this article appears in the Computer Law and Security Review. For more information about this topic, please contact K. Mark Brown.