Weird Tangent: Panasonic campaign targeting and bribing NJ Facebook users in violation of Facebook privacy policy


Books etc. by ARUDOU Debito (click on icon):
Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants, and Immigrants to Japan\" width=「ジャパニーズ・オンリー 小樽入浴拒否問題と人種差別」(明石書店)JAPANESE ONLY:  The Otaru Hot Springs Case and Racial Discrimination in Japansourstrawberriesavatardebitopodcastthumb
UPDATES ON TWITTER: arudoudebito
DEBITO.ORG PODCASTS on iTunes, subscribe free

Hi Blog.  Something weird happening here from Panasonic Corporation, targeting NJ Facebook users in general (this time not just one Panasonic staff member who’s been targeting this blogger and his NJ readers in specific).  Thought I’d just pass it along.  FYI.  Arudou Debito


July 18, 2012

From:  XY

Dear Debito,

I recently received the following email which may be of interest to you. I have also included a few comments at the end.


From: Findateacher.Net_SenseiSagasu.com_Research
Subject: Findateacher.Net-Non-teaching Income Opportunity -Pa nasonic Olympic Promotion “SHARE THE PASSION”
Date: 07/17/2012
To: senseisagasu-research


Occasionally, we ( get offers for part time
non-teaching work for foreigners living in Japan.This time, we have
“Panasonic/Olympic online promotion – Share The Passion” Project.
Please reply to us as soon as possible since we don’t have much time.
And we will choose participants on first come first serve basis. Thank

PANASONIC Olympic Campaign “SHARE THE PASSION” [For foreigners live in Japan]

*Required condition

1) Foreigners from UK, U.S.A, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, who
speaks English.
2) You have a Facebook account.
3) You can let us check your activity on Face book.
(This is only for confirmation that your activities that you clicked
“like” and upload the photo)

*REWARD : 2,000 JPY
(We will pay in the beginning of September via Bank Account)

1. You log into Facebook and click “Like” button on “SHARE THE
2. You will download “SHARE THE PASSION” Facebook APP and upload the
photos of you playing sports.
3. After we confirm that you clicked “Like” button on and uploaded the
photo on that APP, we will pay the reward.

[Date: TBA]

the following information A.S.A.P.

1. Full name
2. Nationality
3. Age
4. Where do you live?
5. E-mail Address(Your registered email address)
6. Telephone number
7. Do you have Facebook account?
8. Can you allow us to check your activities on Facebook?
(For the confirmation of clicking “like” and uploading photo)

************* DEADLINE: July 19th 10:00am**************


Kana Sato

FindaNet, Inc., K2 Building 1st Floor,
15-4 Maruyama-cho Shibuya-ku, Tokyo


COMMENT FROM SUBMITTER:  It appears that Panasonic, rather than advertise on Facebook the proper way, instead is targeting non Japanese living in Japan and offering 2,000 yen if they download the app and give Panasonic and their Facebook passwords.

I believe this is not only against the privacy laws in Japan, Facebook has clearly stated it will consider taking legal action against companies that take part in this practice. Sharing one’s Facebook password, also give a company access to the private information of all of that user’s friends, violating the privacy of other Facebook users.

I thought I would bring this to your attention as it is targeting non Japanese ethnic groups.

Regards, XY


15 comments on “Weird Tangent: Panasonic campaign targeting and bribing NJ Facebook users in violation of Facebook privacy policy

  • They are violating the Personal Information Protection Act if they do not say what the information will e used for. Are we sure that this is actually Panasonic and not just some scam using Panasonic’s name?

  • I can’t see where they’ve asked for your facebook password. They merely ask is they can check your activities on facebook, right?

  • Looks like the submitter had a reading comprehension fail. They’re not asking for a password, they’re asking to be able to verify that you are uploading pictures to your page. How do you do that on Facebook? You friend one of Panasonic’s accounts so they can see your wall. If your page is set to globally public, you probably don’t even have to do that.

    I have no idea if this is against Facebook’s advertising policy, but XY has interpreted this in about the stupidest way one could possibly imagine.

  • Debito,

    This may be an instance of improper explanation rather than attempted wrongdoing. As a developer who does a lot of work on Facebook-related projects, it seems that Kana is trying to explain that users should “Install” (not “Download”) their app on the Facebook platform and that, in doing so, Findateacher may receive certain details about that user. Note that any application on Facebook can request certain user information (such as sex, birthday, photos, etc. – see for the whole list).

  • In Japan corporate considerations trump individual rights, we all know this. For which the westerners (you must be a westerner) will be rewarded the magnificent sum of 2000 yen! We used to get 10 000 at least for putting in an appearance as token NJ back in the day, but I suppose times are hard.

    I am waiting for the response, “its not invasion of privacy, those NJs are showing loyalty to the panasonic brand,” etc, and rather trustingly “we will only check the “likes” and photo upload.

    Or they will blame Kana Sato as a a scapegoat and she will offer a heartfelt apology.We’ll see.

  • Bizarre. Where on earth does it mention anything about passwords? They just want to check that you’ve liked their app and that you’ve uploaded a photo to it, something they can do just by checking the app page.

  • This is a very typical social media marketing campaign tactic. I have translated several contracts in this space, and they all work in this way: The way it works is companies pay some social media marketing company to get a bunch of “popular” social media types to “like” their product, post pictures of their enjoying the product, make a certain number of related status updates, etc. This is how so-called “social media professionals” earn a living. Even if it were against the terms of use, it’s impossible for facebook / authorities to police since both parties consent to the actions involved. Only the social media professional’s poor unwitting friends who click through to whatever shitty product is being promoted are the victims, and they have no way of knowing that the promoter was getting paid to schill. Welcome to the social media age.

    Typical conditions include a certain minimum number of click-through page views to get paid, numbers of status updates, numbers of pictures/posts per week, options for the company to pay more to continue the promotion if it is going well, etc.

  • It’s a pretty ham-fisted marketing effort, really.

    One minor side note to add — I love (not exactly) the way of thinking represented by the phrase they use:

    “Foreigners from UK, U.S.A, Australia…”

    Replace the first word with “People” and you have a message that doesn’t sound quite so parochial.

    Anyway, it’s an old point on another subject…

  • Loverilakkuma says:

    This is a typical example of fraud mail. I know some employers are demanding their employees access to social network accounts, which is already happening in the US and some countries. But this one is way too dumb to fake its authenticity. No corporate letterhead, no dates, no credentials, asking sensitive information(i.e., login password), inappropriate writing style, inadequate contact information, etc. I personally don’t think this sender has anything to do with Matsushita whatsoever. They know they’re gonna hurt their reputations if they allow their employees to practice this kind of unprofessionalism on a daily basis.

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    CJ #1 has got a ggood point.We don’t know who this is. Could be a scam, could be the uyoku, could be immigration.

  • Not that I am even interested in this anyway, but quite obviously, they are NOT asking for anyone’s facebook password. They are just asking people to ‘friend’ them and open their privacy settings, so that they can confirm that the requested action has been taken before they pay out the 2,000 yen. Of course they could be unfriended and the privacy settings could be reset after the 2,000 yen has been paid. For better or worse businesses often try new ways of marketing, and I didn’t personally interpret the motive as anything sinister. But regardless, it is of no interest to me personally in any case.

  • The only thing that bothers me about this is the list of countries. No South Africa? No Jamaica? Funny, that. I wonder what trait might connect the majority of citizens in those two countries.

    No Ireland, either. But I suspect that’s due to sheer ignorance.

  • First of all, there is no explicit request here for a password. One can demonstrate participation in the program by liking the app or making their posts public, or by liking the parent page to the app.

    The idea that this violates Japan’s privacy laws is risible. Here is the Personal Information Protection Act:

    What people need to understand is that the Personal Information Protection Act is not meant to be a real law. It was meant to be an Amakudari scam and provide jobs for retiring bureaucrats. This law led to the establishment of the “Privacy Mark” system:

    After all, if you read the law and understand the problems with Sony’s user data management, you would see that Sony should be prosecuted under this law (for not encrypting/hashing stored passwords). But the law itself exempts the government from it, which, if pressed by a lawyer could possibly mean that any firm with shares held by the Bank of Japan is exempt from the law. What judge would rule otherwise?

    Anyway, the point is that whatever you might hear about Japan’s supposedly strict privacy laws, all you have to do is read the law and also consider the fact that in six years, no one has been convicted under this law, despite the fact that many firms have clearly violated it due to their lax practices.

  • Has anyone validated that is is actually a Matsushita PR campaign?

    I see speculation that it’s not, I think there is a high probability that it’s a phishing scam, but not anything conclusive one way or the other.

  • I do not see this as an issue at all. Pleae allow me to elaborate.

    First of all the thing looks like a phishing expedition or spam to me, but, if it is real and if you use Facebook (I don’t) then it is your choice to participate.

    Does Facebook take privacy seriously? Mark Zuckerberg (CEO) called Facebook users dumb Fuc&s…”They trust me – dumb fuc&s”. He has admitted to saying this. Facebook makes money by selling data on you. Someone always has access to whatever you post or do (publically or privately)

    Employees have been caught brokering user data

    A practice which was likely stopped but, someone always has access…

    Fun tangent but I see as a non issue


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>