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It is easy today – and it will be more so in the future – for employers to acquire, store, and transfer employees’ personal information through electronic devices. Accordingly, employee privacy has become a keen legal issue among developed countries in recent years. All are agreed that there should be effective legal measures to protect employees from improper collection and/or use of their personal information while still paying due consideration to employers’ valid business necessities. Some countries have tackled this issue with special legislation, while others have relied primarily on constitutional law or tort law.
This collection of essays – an outcome of the 12th Comparative Labour Law Seminar (Tokyo Seminar) hosted by the Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training – presents detailed country reports on the status of employee privacy law in Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The papers were presented by distinguished labour law scholars, and are reproduced here with some revisions to reflect the lively discussions that took place at the meeting. For each country, the topics examined include the following: