Lawsuit filed in Tokyo over online map of bankrupt individuals

A lawsuit has been filed in a Tokyo District Court against a man from Kanagawa Prefecture who ran a website showing a Google map with names, addresses and other information on bankrupt individuals.

In the lawsuit, two people who experienced personal bankruptcy claim that the website violated their privacy, demanding a total of ¥220,000 in damages.

In the first court hearing on the case, the defendant asked the court in writing to dismiss the claim.

Information on bankrupt individuals is published in the government’s official gazette, including its online edition.

But the plaintiffs argue that it was much easier to find such information through an online map than in the official gazette, and therefore the map was capable of causing even greater damage. The plaintiffs also claim that the map was not aimed at serving the public interest.

According to the complaint and other sources, the map of bankrupt individuals was launched around December 2018. Before shutting down in March 2019, this map contained personal information on people involved in up to several hundred thousand personal bankruptcy cases across the country from the previous three years.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer quoted them as saying that they were afraid to go out after the online map was released.

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