TAIWAN BACKGROUND CHECK

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GENERAL INFORMATION

GDP USD529bn (2014)
Population 23.4 million (Nationalstatitics 2014)
Form of state Multiparty Democracy
Head of government MA Ying-jeou
Next elections 2016, presidential and legislative

 

CURRENT LOCAL TIME

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PRODUCTS IN TAIWAN

Data Protection

Taiwan

Contribution Details

Formosa Transnational Attorneys at Law

ChunYih Cheng

Senior Partner

Law

The former Computer Processed Personal Data Protection Law (“CPPL”) was renamed as the Personal Data Protection Law (“PDPL”) and amended on 26 May 2010. The PDPL became effective on 1 October 2012, except that the provisions relating to sensitive personal data and the notification obligation for personal data indirectly collected before the effectiveness of the PDPL remain ineffective. The government has proposed further amendment to these provisions, which is pending legislative review. The information hereunder is based upon the effective PDPL only.

Definition of Personal Data

According to PDPL, personal data means the name, date of birth, I.D. Card number, passport number, characteristics, fingerprints, marital status, family, education, occupation, medical record, medical treatment, genetic information, sexual life, health checks, criminal records, contact information, financial conditions, social activities and other information which may directly or indirectly be used to identify a living natural person.

Definition of Sensitive Personal Data

According to PDPL, sensitive personal data means the personal data relating to medical treatments, genetic information, sex life, health checks and criminal records. As mentioned above, the provisions relating to sensitive personal data remain ineffective. At the moment, sensitive personal data will be treated like other data.

National Data Protection Authority

In Taiwan, there is no single national data protection authority. The various ministries and city/county governments serve as the competent authorities.

Registration

Unlike the CPPL, there is no need to register with any authorities for the collection, processing, usage and international transfer of personal data under the PDPL

Data Protection Officers

There is no requirement in Taiwan for the data controller to appoint a data protection officer. However, if the data controller is a government agency, a specific person should be appointed to be in charge of the security maintenance measures.

Collection and Processing

Under the PDPL, the data controller should not collect or process personal data unless there is specific pur pose and should comply with one of the following conditions:

  • where collection/processing is explicitly stipulated by law;
  • where there is a contract or quasi contract between the data controller and the data subject;
  • where the data subject has his/herself disclosed such data or where the data has been publicised legally;
  • where it is necessary for public interest on statistics or the purpose of academic research conducted by a research institution. The data may not lead to the identification of a certain person after the treatment of the provider or by the disclosure of the collector;
  • where written consent has been given by the data subject;
  • where the public interest is involved; or
  • where the personal data is obtained from publicly available sources, except that where the is vital interest of the data subject requires more protection and the prohibition of the processing or usage of such personal information.
  • Furthermore, except for the exemptions stipulated in the PDPL (e.g. if it is explicitly stipulated by law that the provision of such information is not required), the data controller is permitted to collect and process personal data only if the data controller unambiguously informs the data subject of the following information prior to or upon the collection:
  • data controller’s name;
  • purpose for collecting personal data;
  • categories of personal data;
  • period, area, recipients and means of using the data;
  • the data subject’s rights and the methods by which the data subject may exercise those rights in accordance with the PDPL; and
  • that the data subject has the right to choose whether or not to provide the data and the consequences of not providing the data.
  • The information collected should in principle only be used for the pur pose notified and not for any other pur pose.

Transfer

The central competent authority may restrict the international transfer of personal data by the data controller which is not a government agency if:

  • it involves major national interests
  • where a national treaty or agreement specifies otherwise;
  • where the country receiving personal data lacks proper regulations that protect personal data and that might harm the rights and interests of the data subject;
  • where the international transfer of personal data is made to a third country through an indirect method in order to evade the provisions of the PDPL.

Security

Data controllers which are non-government agencies should adopt proper security measures to prevent personal data from being stolen, altered, damaged, destroyed or disclosed.

The central competent authority may request the data controller to set up a plan for the security measures of the personal data file or the disposal measures for the personal data after termination of business.

Breach notification

Where the personal data is stolen, disclosed, altered or infringed in other ways due to the violation of the PDPL, the data controller should notify the data subject.

Enforcement

Under the PDPL, the competent authority may perform an inspection, if it is necessary for the protection of personal data, of the disposal measures after termination of business, the limitation of international transfer, other routine examinations, or if the PDPL may be violated. Those who perform the inspection may ask the data controller to provide a necessary explanation, take cooperative measures, or provide relevant evidence.

When the competent authority conducts such an inspection, it may seize or duplicate the personal data and files may be confiscated or may be used as evidence. The owner, holder or keeper of that data or those files should surrender them upon request.

In addition, a breach of the PDPL may be subject to criminal sanctions, administrative fines, and civil compensation (class action is permitted).

Electronic Marketing

The PDPL applies to electronic marketing in the same way as to other marketing. Within the necessary scope of specific purposes of data collection, the data controller may use personal data for marketing. However, when the data subject refuses the marketing (a right to “opt-out”), the data controller should cease using such personal data for marketing. In addition, when making the first marketing, the data controller should bear the costs to provide the data subject with the means to refuse marketing.

Online Privacy (including cookies and Location Data)

There is no special law or regulation applicable to online privacy. The PDPL applies to online and physical world in the same manner. As a result, online unique issues are not specifically addressed

Taiwan Police Certificates

Please note that Info Cubic does not provide Police Certificates in Taiwan.

Taiwan issues police certificates, although the information is not always comprehensive. Legislation is also pending in Taiwan that will cause criminal convictions resulting in a penalty of a fine, probation, a suspended sentence, or a sentence of less than two years, be deleted from a person’s criminal record. Crimes committed by juveniles are not part of the criminal record. Therefore, under the new legislation, a police clearance certificate will not show these convictions. Crimes relevant to visa issuance may be included in those that may not be shown on a person’s police clearance certificate.

Conversely, convictions, once part of a person’s record, remains in the person’s record indefinitely. The information reported by the police on police clearance certificates is reliable, but applicants have been able to exclude relevant convictions by specifying specific dates for which the check is to be performed. Information recorded in police clearance certificates comes from a national database of criminal convictions that is updated weekly.

If posts suspect that a Taiwan visa applicant is concealing a criminal conviction despite presentation of a clean police clearance certificate, posts should send a completed DS-156 with a photocopy of the bio page of the applicant’s passport to the Fraud Prevention Unit at AIT.

Taiwan does not use a standard system for Romanizing names, resulting in a wide range of name spellings. However, every Taiwan citizen is assigned a unique national identification number that never changes. Whenever possible, queries should include a person’s national identification number.

Applicants with Taiwan passports should apply for a police certificate from the police headquarters having jurisdiction over the county or city in which the applicant’s household is registered, as recorded in the Household Registration Certificate. Previous residents of Taiwan not holding a Taiwan passport may apply for a police certificate by writing to:

Foreign Affairs Division
Taipei Municipal Police Department
No. 96, Yen Ping South Road
Taipei, Taiwan

Applicants should enclose a completed application form (available from Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Offices [TECRO] or Republic of China Embassies). No police certificate is available for previous residents of Taiwan who were dependents of U.S. military personnel and covered by the Status of Forces Agreement or persons living in Taiwan prior to August 1945.

For more information on how to obtain a police certificate in Taiwan, follow this link:
http://english.tcpd.taipei.gov.tw/lp.asp?ctNode=15874&CtUnit=5608&BaseDSD=7&mp=10800

We recommend Non-Taiwan Nationals and Non-Residents to seek more information at their Taiwanese Embassy or Consulate.

Privacy Laws & Regulations

The Computer Processed Personal Data Protection Act (CPPDPA) is the legislation that protects an individual’s personal data and the way that it is collected and handled in Taiwan. The Taiwan Legislature (Legislative Yuan) passed an amendment to the CPPDPA in April 2010 entitled the Personal Data Protection Act. This new amendment broadened the definition of personal data to include anything that may identify an individual (e.g., name, date of birth, identification number, fingerprints, family, occupation, education, etc.). This new legislation went into effect in October 2012. This new legislation states that individuals should provide consent prior to the collection of data, unless the law suggests otherwise.

  • Data can only be collected if it is done so for relevant reasons and not in excess;
  • Data that is collected may only be used for the purpose for which is was collected;
  • Data must be up to date and accurate;
  • If the data is found to be inaccurate, it needs to be discarded and replaced with accurate data;
  • Once you are finished with the information collected, and it has fulfilled its purpose, the data must be destroyed;
  • Data that is collected must be stored in a safe location with very limited and relevant access.

Risk

Sovereign risk

The Economist Intelligence Unit expects further steady progress on fiscal consolidation in 2015-16, as steps are taken to expand the public revenue base. Successive governments will be committed to honouring their debt obligations in all circumstances.

Banking sector risk

A decline in the net foreign assets of the banking sector has put the score on the risky end of the A rating. We expect the rating to stay at A, but an increase in non-performing loans (NPLs) or a sharp drop in property prices could cause a downgrade to BBB.

Political risk

The resounding defeat for the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) in the local elections in November 2014 is likely to halt the progress of the government’s policy agenda for the remainder of its term, which ends in 2016, given growing public scepticism over its focus on trade liberalisation. Political stability could be disrupted by rising popular activism, which could increase ahead of the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Economic structure risk

Taiwan runs a large current-account surplus, but the heavy dependence of its economy on exports leaves it vulnerable to volatility in global demand, notably for consumer electronics. It is also exposed to the fortunes of the mainland-Chinese economy, the destination for around 40% of the island’s exports.

Travel Risk

Security

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

Crime

The crime rate is relatively low. Petty crime (such as pickpocketing and purse snatching) occurs, usually at airports and train stations, on public transportation, and in main tourist shopping areas, hotel lobbies, and crowded streets. Bags left unattended are likely to be stolen. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times.

Women’s safety

Women should exercise caution at all times and should avoid travelling alone in taxis at night when possible. Consult our publication entitled Her Own Way: A Woman’s Safe-Travel Guide for travel safety information specifically aimed at Canadian women.

Demonstrations

Strikes and demonstrations occur from time to time on short notice. Exercise caution, avoid areas where demonstrations are being held and avoid confrontations with protestors.

Transportation

Traffic congestion is severe in urban areas.

Driving habits in Taiwan are often more erratic and reckless than in Canada. Driving or riding motorcycles is dangerous and should be avoided, even by experienced motorcyclists. Mountain roads are narrow, winding, and poorly banked. Substandard road conditions and local disregard for traffic laws result in frequent accidents. Several foreigners have been involved in accidents that caused serious and even fatal injuries. Motorcycles and scooters weave in and out of traffic. Pedestrians should always exercise caution when crossing the road. Be aware of your surroundings at all times if you plan to drive a vehicle in Taiwan.

As taxi drivers tend to speak little or no English or French, you should have your destination written in Chinese.

See Transportation Safety in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Emergency services

Dial 110 to reach police and 119 for ambulance and fire fighters.

Address Format

RECIPIENT
[HOUSE/BUILDING NUMBER] [STREET,] [SECTION OF STREET]
[DEPENDENT LOCALITY,]
[LOCALITY] [POSTAL CODE]
[COUNTRY]

Sample

Directorate General of Posts
The Philatelic Department
55 Jinshan S. Rd., Sec. 2
Da’an Dist.
Taipei City 10603
TAIWAN

Summary

Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast
2015-01-30 08:30 AM Q4 3.17% 3.63% 3.1% 4.41%
2015-02-16 08:30 AM Q4 3.35% 3.63% 3.17% 3.17%
2015-04-30 01:30 AM Q1 3.46% 3.35% 3.47% 3.1%
2015-05-22 09:30 AM Q1 3.35% 3.46% 3.46%
2015-07-31 01:30 AM Q2 3.29%
2015-08-15 08:30 AM Q2

 

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