Interac Just Gave Your Private E-Mail Address Away

Back in May (2015), a "Head Teacher" of Interac Sendai Branch wrote a newsletter that informed teachers that the company would (illegally) withhold their salaries if reports of work were submitted late (http://tinyurl.com/InteracHT).

The "Head Teacher" also encouraged teachers to harass each other, implying that one delayed report would affect everyone.

Well, today, someone has slipped up again - but this time, it's on a national level.


Without asking for anyone's permission (or even offering the chance to opt-out) Interac informed everyone that it had registered all of their e-mail addresses (and associated names and branches, one would assume) with a third-party "emergency communication service" company.

Having an "emergency communication service" is, perhaps, a good idea in theory; however, the way that Interac has gone about this process - without asking anyone if they were happy to have their personal information used in this way - undermines any good intentions. Violating someone's rights for a "good cause" is still a violation of their rights.

With a number of teachers already outraged that Interac doesn't seem to care about their privacy rights, this could turn into something of a PR nightmare for the company. At best, it is more bad press and another mark against their name; at worst, it could see the company fined or even prosecuted. Japan has strong privacy laws, and the General Union will be seeking legal advice on behalf of Interac teachers to see if the law has been broken in this case.

Remember: Bennesse, the owners of Berlitz, made the news when the personal data of customers was leaked and then sold on to thirty parties.

Isn't it time that you joined the union to build a stronger Interac branch?

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union(@)generalunion.org
http://www.facebook.com/GeneralUnionJapan/
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