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Eyes on the Road Program in Taiwan―Information Privacy Issues under the Taiwan Personal Data Protection Act
J. Marshall J. Info. Tech. & Privacy L. (2015)
  • Chen-Hung Chang

In a Taiwan nationwide highway electronic toll collection (ETC) system, launched in 2014, which uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to conduct toll collection, an unintended effect is that the ETC system functions as a massive vehicle surveillance program that captures drivers’ location data. This essay will discuss a number of incidents of data mismanagement by ETC operator, which underscore the salient information privacy concerns of individuals when an organization that handles so much personal data does not take privacy seriously and is ill prepared to protect the massive amount of data it possesses.

Moreover, the ETC case illustrates the conflicts of interest between data subjects and the government when the latter intends to use the location data of individuals for criminal investigation or espionage activities. By analyzing the ETC privacy issues in three dimensions―ETC operator vs. drivers, ETC operator vs. government, and government vs. drivers—this essay will examine whether Taiwan privacy laws are sufficient to adequately address the conflicts of interest among data subject, data controller, and the government. The ETC scenario further involves new privacy challenges presented by new technologies. Particularly important is the issue of geographical location (geo-location) data protection. This essay will examine the respective privacy rules under which corporations and the government may lawfully access drivers’ geo-location data and evaluate whether such rules are adequate.

In the United States, geo-location data are also raising troubling privacy invasion concerns. As a comparative perspective, it is worth exploring the privacy issues concerning geo-location data under the Fourth Amendment. This essay highlights the privacy doctrines previously ruled by the U.S. Supreme Court and examines whether they are still adequate to respond to new privacy threats posed by new technologies. This essay also provides a perspective for U.S. information privacy reform to better protect information privacy.

  • Information Privacy,
  • radio-frequency identification technology,
  • geographical location data,
  • Taiwan Personal Data Protection Act
Publication Date
Winter 2015
Citation Information
Chen-Hung Chang. "Eyes on the Road Program in Taiwan―Information Privacy Issues under the Taiwan Personal Data Protection Act" J. Marshall J. Info. Tech. & Privacy L. Vol. 31 Iss. 2 (2015)
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