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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 December 21 - 2017 January 3  > Citizens sue Gifu Police for its illegal collection of their personal information
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2016 December 21 - 2017 January 3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Citizens sue Gifu Police for its illegal collection of their personal information

December 22, 2016
Four citizens in Gifu Prefecture on December 21 filed a lawsuit with the Gifu District Court, claiming that the local police had illegally collected their personal information and leaked them to a power company.

Two of the four plaintiffs are organizers of a protest against a Chubu Electric Power Company plan to construct a wind power station in their community in Ogaki City.

With the aim to discussing preventive measures against the citizens’ movement, Ogaki City Police officers held meetings with the power company’s subsidiary four times between August 2013 and June 2014. In the meetings, police officers informed the subsidiary that the two plaintiffs had held study meetings on possible problems related to the construction project and shared the citizens’ personal information. In addition, the police provided the utility with the remaining two plaintiffs’ educational and medical records on the grounds that if the two join the protest movement, they will cause trouble for the power company.

The plaintiffs state that such police activities are illegal because they were carried out based on an unfair assumption that the targeted persons will disturb the pubic peace and order. Noting that the police act infringed on the constitutional right to freedom of expression, the plaintiffs are seeking damages from the Gifu prefectural government for the emotional suffering that they experienced.

In a press conference held after the filing, one of the plaintiffs quoted the prefectural police as saying that their activities in question are within the acceptable range of police investigation in response to their protest activities. She stressed that the police should admit the fact that such information gathering is in violation of the Constitution.

Past related article:
> Police collect private info of local residents objecting to power plant project in Gifu Pref. [May 27 & June 5, 2015]

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