The Department of Legal Affairs of the Ministry of Justice in conjunction with officials from the Executive Yuan (Executive Branch) jointly announced – on 14 May 2012 – that part of the amendments to the Personal Information Protection Act (the Law) will come into force on 1 October 2012.
"All the amendments will come into force on 1 October except for a few controversial provisions", Ken-Ying Tseng, Partner at Lee and Li Attorneys-at-Law, told DataGuidance. "For the controversial provisions, the Executive Branch will propose amendments for the Legislative Yuan (Legislative Branch)'s approval. In other words, those controversial provisions are subject to change and will not be finalised until they are approved."
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The controversial provisions include: Article 6 on the prohibition of collection, processing, or use of sensitive personal information; the one-year notification requirement set out by Article 54 on the personal information collected by third parties prior to the amendment of the Law; and the criminal sanctions imposed by Article 41 on persons with no intention to gain profit from the information collected.
The Executive Branch proposes to: 1) allow collection, processing and use of sensitive personal information when certain requirements are met; 2) lower the criminal sanctions imposed on persons without intention to gain profits; and 3) require personal information collectors to notify the data subjects prior to using data provided by third parties previously. These proposals are subject to review and approval of the Legislative Branch.
Members of the Legislative Branch have also proposed amendments to the Employment Services Act concerning the privacy of employees.
Tseng said: "[This is] to prohibit employers from asking current or prospective employees questions that may breach their privacy including questions of the employees' marital status, criminal record and whether a female employee may be pregnant. The proposals also include administrative fines between NTD$60,000 (approx. €1,607) to NTD$300,000(approx. €8,035) to be imposed on violators."