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Press Release


Yahoo! JAPAN Establishes Expert Panel on Search Results and Privacy

Yahoo Japan Corporation ("Yahoo! JAPAN") has made continuous efforts to carefully judge the appropriateness of removing information displayed on its Internet search service to maintain public trust in the neutrality of its search service. Taking this a step further, Yahoo! JAPAN has newly established the Expert Panel on Search Results and Privacy and the first meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 11, 2014. The expert panel will meet several times in the future, and based on the discussions, Yahoo! JAPAN plans to compile and announce its approach to the display of search results around the end of fiscal 2014.

1. Aim of Establishing the Expert Panel
As Internet search services have become widely used in society, various opinions have been expressed in Japan concerning the removal of information displayed in search results. The courts have protected privacy based on the tort framework of the Civil Code, and have traditionally judged the appropriateness of removal while balancing privacy with "freedom of expression" and the "right to know. Yahoo! JAPAN has also addressed this issue based on the court's decisions.

The search service is a service that meets the "need to know" of many search service users and contributes to the "freedom of expression" of countless Internet users who disseminate information. Yahoo! JAPAN believes that it is necessary to consider the balance between "freedom of expression" and "right to know" when deciding whether certain information should be displayed or removed from search results, and at the same time, to take action to avoid being perceived as insufficiently responsive to those who request removal of information. To this end, Yahoo! JAPAN will establish an expert panel to hear the opinions of outside experts for the purpose of further enhancing the transparency and objectivity of its decisions.

2. Matters to Be Deliberated
- Social significance of search services
 Neutrality and reliability of search services, and contribution to "freedom of expression" and "right to know"
- Social responsibility of search service providers

3. Members (Honorifics Omitted)
 Takashi UCHIDA (Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo; Attorney)

 Tokuji IZUMI (Attorney; Former Justice of the Supreme Court of Japan)
 George SHISHIDO (Professor, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, The University of Tokyo)
 Yasuo HASEBE (Professor, Faculty of Law, Waseda Law School)
 Jun MASUDA (Professor, Chuo Law School; Attorney; Former Justice of Tokyo High Court)