Recommendation of the Regulations on the Legal and Effective Access to Taiwan’s Biological Resources

Preface

Considering that, many countries and regional international organizations already set up ABS system, such as Andean Community, African Union, Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), Australia, South Africa, and India, all are enthusiastic with the establishment of the regulations regarding the access management of biological resources and genetic resources. On the other hand, there are still many countries only use traditional and existing conservation-related regulations to manage the access of biological resources.

Can Taiwan's regulations comply with the purposes and objects of CBD? Is there a need for Taiwan to set up specific regulations for the management of these access activities? This article plans to present Taiwan's regulations and review the effectiveness of the existing regulations from the aspect of enabling the legal and effective access to biological resources. A recommendation will be made on whether Taiwan should reinforce the management of the bio-resources access activities.

Review and Recommendation of the Regulations on the Legal and Effective Access to Taiwan's Biological Rersearch Resources

(1)Evaluate the Needs and Benefits before Establishing the Regulation of Access Rights

When taking a look at the current development of the regulations on the access of biological resources internationally, we discover that some countries aggressively develop designated law for access, while some countries still adopt existing regulations to explain the access rights. Whether to choose a designated law or to adopt the existing law should depend on the needs of establishing access and benefit sharing system. Can the access and benefit sharing system benefit the functioning of bio-technological research and development activities that link closely to the biological resources? Can the system protect the interests of Taiwan's bio-research results?

In Taiwan, in the bio-technology industry, Agri-biotech, Medical, or Chinese Herb Research & Development are the key fields of development. However, the biological resources they use for the researches are mainly supplied from abroad. Hence, the likelihood of violating international bio-piracy is higher. On the contrary, the incidence of international research houses searching for the biological resources from Taiwan is comparatively lower, so the possibility for them to violate Taiwan's bio-piracy is very low.

To look at this issue from a different angle, if Taiwan establishes a separate management system for the access of biological resources, it is likely to add more restrictions to Taiwan's bio-tech R&D activities and impact the development of bio-industry. Also, under the new management system, international R&D teams will also be confined, if they wish to explore the biological resources, or conduct R&D and seek for co-operation activities in Taiwan. Not to mention that it is not a usual practice for international R&D teams to look for Taiwan's biological resources. A new management system will further reduce their level of interest in doing so. In the end, the international teams will then shift their focus of obtaining resources from other countries where the regulation on access is relatively less strict.

Before Taiwan establishes the regulations on the legal and effective access to bio-research resources, the government should consider not only the practical elements of the principal on the fair and impartial sharing of the derived interests from bio-research resources, but also take account of its positive and negative impacts on the development of related bio-technological industries.

Even if a country's regulation on the access and benefit sharing is thorough and comprehensive enough to protect the interests of bio-resource provider, it will, on the contrary, reduce the industry's interest in accessing the bio-resources. As a result, the development of bio-tech industry will be impacted and the resource provider will then be unable to receive any benefits. By then, the goal of establishing the regulation to benefit both the industry and resource provider will not be realized.

To sum up, it is suggested to evaluate the suitability of establishing the management system for the access to biological resources through the cost-effect analysis first. And, further consider the necessity of setting up regulations by the access the economic benefits derived from the regulation for both resource provider and bio-tech industry.

(2)The Feasibility of Managing the access to Bio-research Resources from existing Regulations

As analysed in the previous paragraphs, the original intention of setting up the Wildlife Conservation Act, National Park Law, Forestry Act, Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, and Aboriginal Basic Act is to protect the environment and to conserve the ecology. However, if we utilize these traditional regulations properly, it can also partially help to manage the access to biological resources.

When Taiwan's citizens wish to enter specific area, or to collect the biological resources within the area, they need to receive the permit from management authority, according to current regulations. Since these national parks, protection areas, preserved areas, or other controlled areas usually have the most comprehensive collections of valuable biological resources in a wide range of varieties, it is suggested to include the agreements of access and benefit sharing as the mandatory conditions when applying for the entrance permit.

Therefore, the principal of benefit sharing from the access to biological resources can be assured. Furthermore, the current regulations already favour activities of accessing biological resources for academic research purpose. This practice also ties in with the international trend of separating the access application into two categories - academic and business.

Australia's practice of access management can be a very good example of utilizing the existing regulations to control the access of resources. The management authority defines the guidelines of managing the entrance of control areas, research of resources, and the collection and access of resources. The authority also adds related agreements, such as PIC (Prior Informed Consent), MTA (Material Transfer Agreement), and benefit sharing into the existing guidelines of research permission.

In terms of scope of management, the existing regulation does not cover all of Taiwan's bio-research resources. Luckily, the current environmental protection law regulates areas with the most resourceful resources or with the most distinctive and rare species. These are often the areas where the access management system is required. Therefore, to add new regulation for access management on top of the existing regulation is efficient method that utilizes the least administrative resources. This could be a feasible way for Taiwan to manage the access to biological resources.

(3)Establish Specific Regulations to Cover the Details of the Scope of Derived Interests and the Items and Percentage of Funding Allocation

In addition to the utilization of current regulations to control the access to biological resources, many countries establish specific regulations to manage the biological resources. If, after the robust economic analysis had been done, the country has come to an conclusion that it is only by establishing new regulations of access management the resources and derived interests of biological resources can be impartially shared, the CBD (Convention of Bio Diversity), the Bonn Guidelines, or the real implementation experiences of many countries can be an important guidance when establishing regulations.

Taiwan has come up with the preliminary draft of Genetic Resources Act that covers the important aspects of international access guidelines. The draft indicates the definition and the scope of access activities, the process of access applications (for both business and academic purpose), the establishment of standardized or model MTA, the obligation of disclosing the sources of property rights (patents), and the establishment of bio-diversity fund.

However, if we observe the regulation or drafts to the access management of the international agreements or each specific country, we can find that the degree of strictness varies and depends on the needs and situations. Generally speaking, these regulations usually do not cover some detailed but important aspects such as the scope of derived interests from biological resources, or the items and percentage of the allocation of bio-diversity fund.

Under the regulation to the access to biological resources, in addition to the access fee charge, the impartial sharing of the derived interests is also an important issue. Therefore, to define the scope of interests is extremely important. Any interest that is out of the defined scope cannot be shared. The interest stated in the existing regulation generally refers to the biological resources or the derived business interests from genetic resources. Apart from describing the forms of interest such as money, non-money, or intellectual property rights, the description of actual contents or scope of the interests is minimal in the regulations.

However, after realizing the importance of bio-diversity and the huge business potential, many countries have started to investigate the national and international bio-resources and develop a database system to systematically collect related bio-research information. The database comprised of bio-resources is extremely useful to the activities related to bio-tech developments. If the international bio-tech companies can access Taiwan's bio-resource database, it will save their travelling time to Taiwan. Also, the database might as well become a product that generates revenues. The only issue that needs further clarification is whether the revenue generated from the access of database should be classified as business interests, as defined in the regulations.

As far as the bio-diversity fund is concerned, many countries only describe the need of setting up bio-diversity funds in a general manner in the regulations. But the definition of which kind of interests should be put into funds, the percentage of the funds, and the related details are not described. As a result, the applicants to the access of bio-resources or the owner of bio-resources cannot predict the amount of interests to be put into bio-diversity fund before they actually use the resources. This issue will definitely affect the development of access activities.

To sum up, if Taiwan's government wishes to develop the specific regulations for the access of biological resources, it is advised to take the above mentioned issues into considerations for a more thoroughly described, and more effective regulations and related framework.

Conclusion

In recent years, it has been a global trend to establish the regulations of the access to and benefit sharing of bio-resources. The concept of benefit sharing is especially treated as a useful weapon for the developing countries to protect the interests of their abundant bio-research resources.

However, as we are in the transition period of changing from free access to biological resources to controlled access, we are facing different regulations within one country as well as internationally. It will be a little bit disappointing for the academic research institution and the industry who relies on the biological resources to conduct bio-tech development if they do not see a clear principal direction to follow. The worse case is the violation of the regulation of the country who owns the bio-resources when the research institutions try to access, exchange, or prospect the biological resources without thorough understanding of related regulations.

For some of Taiwan's leading fields in the bio-tech industry, such as Chinese and herbal medicine related products, agricultural products, horticultural products, and bio-tech products, since many resources are obtained from abroad, the incidence of violation of international regulation will increase, and the costs from complying the regulations will also increase. Therefore, not only the researcher but also the government have the responsibility to understand and educate the related people in Taiwan's bio-tech fields the status of international access management regulations and the methods of legally access the international bio-research resources.

Currently in Taiwan, we did not establish specific law to manage the access to and benefit sharing of bio-resources. Comparing with the international standard, there is still room of improvement for Taiwan's regulatory protection to the provider of biological resources. However, we have to consider the necessity of doing so, and how to do the improvement. And Taiwan's government should resolve this issue.

When we consider whether we should follow international trend to establish a specific law for access management, we should always go back to check the potential state interests we will receive and take this point into consideration. To define the interests, we should always cover the protection of biological resources, the development of bio-tech industry, and the administrative costs of government. Also the conservation of biological resources and the encouragement of bio-tech development should be also taken into consideration when the government is making decisions.

In terms of establishing regulations for the access to biological resources and the benefit sharing, there are two possible solutions. The first solution is to utilize the existing regulations and add the key elements of access management into the scope of administrative management. The work is planned through the revision of related current procedures such as entrance control of controlled areas and the access of specific resources. The second solution is to establish new regulations for the access to biological resources. The first solution is relatively easier and quicker; while the second solution is considered to have a more comprehensive control of the issue. The government has the final judgement on which solution to take to generate a more effective management of Taiwan's biological resources.

※Recommendation of the Regulations on the Legal and Effective Access to Taiwan’s Biological Resources,STLI, https://stli.iii.org.tw/en/article-detail.aspx?no=55&tp=2&i=168&d=6138 (Date:2024/06/21)
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As Article 12 provided that 「the review and approval of field test, clinical trials, product registration, and others, the central competent authorities shall establish an open and transparent procedure that unifies the review system.」

Israel’s Technological Innovation System

I.Introduction Recently, many countries have attracted by Israel’s technology innovation, and wonder how Israel, resource-deficiency and enemies-around, has the capacity to enrich the environment for innovative startups, innovative R&D and other innovative activities. At the same time, several cross-border enterprises hungers to establish research centers in Israel, and positively recruits Israel high-tech engineers to make more innovative products or researches. However, there is no doubt that Israel is under the spotlight in the era of innovation because of its well-shaped national technology system framework, innovative policies of development and a high level of R&D expenditure, and there must be something to learn from. Also, Taiwanese government has already commenced re-organization lately, how to tightly connect related public technology sectors, and make the cooperation more closely and smoothly, is a critical issue for Taiwanese government to focus on. Consequently, by the observation of Israel’s national technology system framework and technology regulations, Israel’s experience shall be a valuable reference for Taiwanese government to build a better model for public technology sectors for future cooperation. Following harsh international competition, each country around the world is trying to find out the way to improve its ability to upgrade international competitiveness and to put in more power to promote technology innovation skills. Though, while governments are wondering how to strengthen their countries’ superiority, because of the differences on culture and economy, those will influence governments’ points of view to form an appropriate national innovative system, and will come with a different outcome. Israel, as a result of the fact that its short natural resources, recently, its stunning performance on technology innovation system makes others think about whether Israel has any characteristics or advantages to learn from. According to Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics records, Israel’s national expenditures on civilian R&D in 2013 amounted to NIS 44.2 billion, and shared 4.2% of the GDP. Compared to 2012 and 2011, the national expenditure on civilian R&D in 2013, at Israel’s constant price, increased by 1.3%, following an increase of 4.5% in 2012 and of 4.1% in 2011. Owing to a high level of national expenditure poured in, those, directly and indirectly, makes the outputs of Israel’s intellectual property and technology transfer have an eye-catching development and performance. Based on Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics records, in 2012-2013, approximately 1,438 IP invention disclosure reports were submitted by the researchers of various universities and R&D institutions for examination by the commercialization companies. About 1,019 of the reports were by companies at the universities, an increase of 2.2% compared to 2010-2011, and a 1% increase in 2010-2011 compared to 2008-2009. The dominant fields of the original patent applicants were medicines (24%), bio-technology (17%), and medical equipment (13%). The revenues from sales of intellectual property and gross royalties amounted to NIS 1,881 million in 2012, compared to NIS 1,680 million in 2011, and increase of 11.9%. The dominant field of the received revenues was medicines (94%). The revenues from sales of intellectual property and gross royalties in university in 2012 amounted to NIS 1,853 million in 2012, compared to NIS 1,658 million in 2011, an increase of 11.8%. Therefore, by the observation of these records, even though Israel only has 7 million population, compared to other large economies in the world, it is still hard to ignore Israel’s high quality of population and the energy of technical innovation within enterprises. II.The Recent Situation of Israel’s Technology Innovation System A.The Determination of Israel’s Technology Policy The direction and the decision of national technology policy get involved in a country’s economy growth and future technology development. As for a government sector deciding technology policy, it would be different because of each country’s government and administrative system. Compared to other democratic countries, Israel is a cabinet government; the president is the head of the country, but he/she does not have real political power, and is elected by the parliament members in every five years. At the same time, the parliament is re-elected in every four years, and the Israeli prime minister, taking charge of national policies, is elected from the parliament members by the citizens. The decision of Israel’s technology policy is primarily made by the Israeli Ministers Committee for Science and Technology and the Ministry of Science and Technology. The chairman of the Israeli Ministry Committee for Science and Technology is the Minister of Science and Technology, and takes charge of making the guideline of Israel’s national technology development policy and is responsible for coordinating R&D activities in Ministries. The primary function of the Ministry of Science and Technology is to make Israel’s national technology policies and to plan the guideline of national technology development; the scope includes academic research and applied scientific research. In addition, since Israel’s technology R&D was quite dispersed, it means that the Ministries only took responsibilities for their R&D, this phenomenon caused the waste of resources and inefficiency; therefore, Israel government gave a new role and responsibility for the Chief Scientists Forum under the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2000, and wished it can take the responsibility for coordinating R&D between the government’s sectors and non-government enterprises. The determination of technology policy, however, tends to rely on counseling units to provide helpful suggestions to make technology policies more intact. In the system of Israel government, the units playing a role for counseling include National Council for Research and Development (NCRD), the Steering Committee for Scientific Infrastructure, the National Council for Civil Research and Development (MOLMOP), and the Chief Scientists Forums in Ministries. Among the aforementioned units, NCRD and the Steering Committee for Scientific Infrastructure not only provide policy counseling, but also play a role in coordinating R&D among Ministries. NCRD is composed by the Chief Scientists Forums in Ministries, the chairman of Planning and Budgeting Committee, the financial officers, entrepreneurs, senior scientists and the Dean of Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. NCRD’s duties include providing suggestions regarding the setup of R&D organizations and related legal system, and advices concerning how to distribute budgets more effectively; making yearly and long-term guidelines for Israel’s R&D activities; suggesting the priority area of R&D; suggesting the formation of necessary basic infrastructures and executing the priority R&D plans; recommending the candidates of the Offices of Chief Scientists in Ministries and government research institutes. As for the Steering Committee for Scientific Infrastructure, the role it plays includes providing advices concerning budgets and the development framework of technology basic infrastructures; providing counsel for Ministries; setting up the priority scientific plans and items, and coordinating activities of R&D between academic institutes and national research committee. At last, as for MOLMOP, it was founded by the Israeli parliament in 2002, and its primary role is be a counseling unit regarding technology R&D issues for Israel government and related technology Ministries. As for MOLMOP’s responsibilities, which include providing advices regarding the government’s yearly and long-term national technology R&D policies, providing the priority development suggestion, and providing the suggestions for the execution of R&D basic infrastructure and research plans. B.The Management and Subsidy of Israel’s Technology plans Regarding the institute for the management and the subsidy of Israel’s technology plans, it will be different because of grantee. Israel Science Foundation (ISF) takes responsibility for the subsidy and the management of fundamental research plans in colleges, and its grantees are mainly focused on Israel’s colleges, high education institutes, medical centers and research institutes or researchers whose areas are in science and technical, life science and medicine, and humanity and social science. As for the budget of ISF, it mainly comes from the Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC) in Israel Council for Higher Education. In addition, the units, taking charge of the management and the subsidy of technology plans in the government, are the Offices of the Chief Scientist in Ministries. Israel individually forms the Office of the Chief Scientist in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Communications, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economy. The function of the Office of the Chief Scientist not only promotes and inspires R&D innovation in high technology industries that the Office the Chief Scientist takes charge, but also executes Israel’s national plans and takes a responsibility for industrial R&D. Also, the Office of the Chief Scientist has to provide aid supports for those industries or researches, which can assist Israel’s R&D to upgrade; besides, the Office of the Chief Scientists has to provide the guide and training for enterprises to assist them in developing new technology applications or broadening an aspect of innovation for industries. Further, the Office of the Chief Scientists takes charge of cross-country R&D collaboration, and wishes to upgrade Israel’s technical ability and potential in the area of technology R&D and industry innovation by knowledge-sharing and collaboration. III.The Recent Situation of the Management and the Distribution of Israel’s Technology Budget A.The Distribution of Israel’s Technology R&D Budgets By observing Israel’s national expenditures on civilian R&D occupied high share of GDP, Israel’s government wants to promote the ability of innovation in enterprises, research institutes or universities by providing national resources and supports, and directly or indirectly helps the growth of industry development and enhances international competitiveness. However, how to distribute budgets appropriately to different Ministries, and make budgets can match national policies, it is a key point for Israel government to think about. Following the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics records, Israel’s technology R&D budgets are mainly distributed to some Ministries, including the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, the Israel Council for Higher Education and other Ministries. As for the share of R&D budgets, the Ministry of Science and Technology occupies the share of 1.7%, the Ministry of Economy is 35%, the Israel Council for Higher Education is 45.5%, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is 8.15%, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources is 1.1%, and other Ministries are 7.8% From observing that Israel R&D budgets mainly distributed to several specific Ministries, Israel government not only pours in lot of budgets to encourage civilian technology R&D, to attract more foreign capitals to invest Israel’s industries, and to promote the cooperation between international and domestic technology R&D, but also plans to provide higher education institutes with more R&D budgets to promote their abilities of creativity and innovation in different industries. In addition, by putting R&D budgets into higher education institutes, it also can indirectly inspire students’ potential innovation thinking in technology, develop their abilities to observe the trend of international technology R&D and the need of Israel’s domestic industries, and further appropriately enhance students in higher education institutes to transfer their knowledge into the society. B.The Management of Israel’s Technology R&D Budgets Since Israel is a cabinet government, the cabinet takes responsibility for making all national technology R&D policies. The Ministers Committee for Science and Technology not only has a duty to coordinate Ministries’ technology policies, but also has a responsibility for making a guideline of Israel’s national technology development. The determination of Israel’s national technology development guideline is made by the cabinet conference lead by the Prime Minister, other Ministries does not have any authority to make national technology development guideline. Aforementioned, Israel’s national technology R&D budgets are mainly distributed to several specific Ministries, including the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, the Israel Council for Higher Education, and etc. As for the plan management units and plan execution units in Ministries, the Office of the Chief Scientist is the plan management unit in the Ministry of Science and Technology, and Regional Research and Development Centers is the plan execution unit; the Office of the Chief Scientist is the plan management unit in the Ministry of Economy, and its plan execution unit is different industries; the ISF is the plan management units in the Israel Council for Higher Education; also, the Office of the Chief Scientist is the plan management unit in the Ministry of Agriculture, and its plan execution units include the Institute of Field and Garden Corps, the Institute of Horticulture, the Institute of Animal, the Institute of Plan Protection, the Institute of Soil, Water & Environmental Sciences, the Institute for Technology and Storage of Agriculture Products, the Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Research Center; the Office of the Chief Scientist is the plan management unit in the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, and its plan execution units are the Geological Survey of Israel, Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research and the Institute of Earth and Physical. As for other Ministries, the Offices of the Chief Scientist are the plan management units for Ministries, and the plan execution unit can take Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research or medical centers for example.

Reviews on Taiwan Constitutional Court's Judgment no. 13 of 2022

Reviews on Taiwan Constitutional Court's Judgment no. 13 of 2022 2022/11/24 I.Introduction   In 2012, the Taiwan Human Rights Promotion Association and other civil groups believe that the National Health Insurance Administration released the national health insurance database and other health insurance data for scholars to do research without consent, which may be unconstitutional and petitioned for constitutional interpretation.   Taiwan Human Rights Promotion Association believes that the state collects, processes, and utilizes personal data on a large scale with the "Personal Data Protection Law", but does not set up another law of conduct to control the exercise of state power, which has violated the principle of legal retention; the data is provided to third-party academic research for use, and the parties involved later Excessive restrictions on the right to withdraw go against the principle of proportionality.   The claimant criticized that depriving citizens of their prior consent and post-control rights to medical data is like forcing all citizens to unconditionally contribute data for use outside the purpose before they can use health insurance. The personal data law was originally established to "avoid the infringement of personality rights and promote the rational use of data", but in the insufficient and outdated design of the regulations, it cannot protect the privacy of citizens' information from infringement, and it is easy to open the door to the use of data for other purposes.   In addition, even if the health insurance data is de-identified, it is still "individual data" that can distinguish individuals, not "overall data." Health insurance data can be connected with other data of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, such as: physical and mental disability files, sexual assault notification files, etc., and you can also apply for bringing in external data or connecting with other agency data. Although Taiwan prohibits the export of original data, the risk of re-identification may also increase as the number of sources and types of data concatenated increases, as well as unspecified research purposes.   The constitutional court of Taiwan has made its judgment on the constitutionality of the personal data usage of National Health Insurance research database. The judgment, released on August 12, 2022, states that Article 6 of Personal Data Protection Act(PDPA), which asks“data pertaining to a natural person's medical records, healthcare, genetics, sex life, physical examination and criminal records shall not be collected, processed or used unless where it is necessary for statistics gathering or academic research by a government agency or an academic institution for the purpose of healthcare, public health, or crime prevention, provided that such data, as processed by the data provider or as disclosed by the data collector, may not lead to the identification of a specific data subject”does not violate Intelligible principle and Principle of proportionality. Therefore, PDPA does not invade people’s right to privacy and remains constitutional.   However, the judgment finds the absence of independent supervisory authority responsible for ensuring Taiwan institutions and bodies comply with data protection law, can be unconstitutional, putting personal data protection system on the borderline to failure. Accordingly, laws and regulations must be amended to protect people’s information privacy guaranteed by Article 22 of Constitution of the Republic of China (Taiwan).   In addition, the judgment also states it is unconstitutional that Articles 79 and 80 of National Health Insurance Law and other relevant laws lack clear provisions in terms of store, process, external transmission of Personal health insurance data held by Central Health Insurance Administration of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.   Finally, the Central Health Insurance Administration of the Ministry of Health and Welfare provides public agencies or academic research institutions with personal health insurance data for use outside the original purpose of collection. According to the overall observation of the relevant regulations, there is no relevant provision that the parties can request to “opt-out”; within this scope, it violates the intention of Article 22 of the Constitution to protect people's right to information privacy. II.Independent supervisory authority   According to Article 3 of Central Regulations and Standards Act, government agencies can be divided into independent agencies that can independently exercise their powers and operate autonomously, and non- independent agencies that must obey orders from their superiors. In Taiwan, the so-called "dedicated agency"(專責機關) does not fall into any type of agency defined by the Central Regulations and Standards Act. Dedicated agency should be interpreted as an agency that is responsible for a specific business and here is no other agency to share the business.   The European Union requires member states to set up independent regulatory agencies (refer to Articles 51 and 52 of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)). In General Data Protection Regulation and the adequacy reference guidelines, the specific requirements for personal data supervisory agencies are as follows: the country concerned should have one or more independent supervisory agencies; they should perform their duties completely independently and cannot seek or accept instructions; the supervisory agencies should have necessary and practicable powers, including the power of investigation; it should be considered whether its staff and budget can effectively assist its implementation. Therefore, in order to pass the EU's adequacy certification and implement the protection of people's privacy and information autonomy, major countries have set up independent supervisory agencies for personal data protection based on the GDPR standards.   According to this research, most countries have 5 to 10 commissioners that independently exercise their powers to supervise data exchange and personal data protection. In order to implement the powers and avoid unnecessary conflicts of interests among personnel, most of the commissioners are full-time professionals. Article 3 of Basic Code Governing Central Administrative Agencies Organizations defines independent agency as "A commission-type collegial organization that exercises its powers and functions independently without the supervision of other agencies, and operates autonomously unless otherwise stipulated." It is similar to Japan, South Korea, and the United States. III.Right to Opt-out   The judgment pointed out that the parties still have the right to control afterwards the personal information that is allowed to be collected, processed and used without the consent of the parties or that meets certain requirements. Although Article 11 of PDPA provides for certain parties to exercise the right to control afterwards, it does not cover all situations in which personal data is used, such as: legally collecting, processing or using correct personal data, and its specific purpose has not disappeared, In the event that the time limit has not yet expired, so the information autonomy of the party cannot be fully protected, the subject, cause, procedure, effect, etc. of the request for suspension of use should be clearly stipulated in the revised law, and exceptions are not allowed.   The United Kingdom is of great reference. In 2017, after the British Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) determined that the data sharing agreement between Google's artificial intelligence DeepMind and the British National Health Service (NHS) violated the British data protection law, the British Department of Health and Social Care proposed National data opt-out Directive in May, 2018. British health and social care-related institutions may refer to the National Data Opt-out Operational Policy Guidance Document published by the National Health Service in October to plan the mechanism for exercising patient's opt-out right. The guidance document mainly explains the overall policy on the exercise of the right to opt-out, as well as the specific implementation of suggested practices, such as opt-out response measures, methods of exercising the opt-out right, etc.   National Data Opt-out Operational Policy Guidance Document also includes exceptions and restrictions on the right to opt-out. The Document stipulates that exceptions may limit the right to Opt-out, including: the sharing of patient data, if it is based on the consent of the parties (consent), the prevention and control of infectious diseases (communicable disease and risks to public health), major public interests (overriding) Public interest), statutory obligations, or cooperation with judicial investigations (information required by law or court order), health and social care-related institutions may exceptionally restrict the exercise of the patient's right to withdraw.   What needs to be distinguished from the situation in Taiwan is that when the UK first collected public information and entered it into the NHS database, there was already a law authorizing the NHS to search and use personal information of the public. The right to choose to enter or not for the first time; and after their personal data has entered the NHS database, the law gives the public the right to opt-out. Therefore, the UK has given the public two opportunities to choose through the enactment of special laws to protect public's right to information autonomy.   At present, the secondary use of data in the health insurance database does not have a complete legal basis in Taiwan. At the beginning, the data was automatically sent in without asking for everyone’s consent, and there was no way to withdraw when it was used for other purposes, therefore it was s unconstitutional. Hence, in addition to thinking about what kind of provisions to add to the PDPA as a condition for "exception and non-request for cessation of use", whether to formulate a special law on secondary use is also worthy of consideration by the Taiwan government. IV.De-identification   According to the relevant regulations of PDPA, there is no definition of "de-identification", resulting in a conceptual gap in the connotation. In other words, what angle or standard should be used to judge that the processed data has reached the point where it is impossible to identify a specific person. In judicial practice, it has been pointed out that for "data recipients", if the data has been de-identified, the data will no longer be regulated by PDPA due to the loss of personal attributes, and it is even further believed that de-identification is not necessary.   However, the Judgment No. 13 of Constitutional Court, pointed out that through de-identification measures, ordinary people cannot identify a specific party without using additional information, which can be regarded as personal data of de-identification data. Therefore, the judge did not give an objective standard for de-identification, but believed that the purpose of data utilization and the risk of re-identification should be measured on a case-by-case basis, and a strict review of the constitutional principle of proportionality should be carried out. So far, it should be considered that the interpretation of the de-identification standard has been roughly finalized. V.Conclusions   The judge first explained that if personal information is processed, the type and nature of the data can still be objectively restored to indirectly identify the parties, no matter how simple or difficult the restoration process is, if the data is restored in a specific way, the parties can still be identified. personal information. Therefore, the independent control rights of the parties to such data are still protected by Article 22 of the Constitution.   Conversely, when the processed data objectively has no possibility to restore the identification of individuals, it loses the essence of personal data, and the parties concerned are no longer protected by Article 22 of the Constitution.   Based on this, the judge declared that according to Article 6, Item 1, Proviso, Clause 4 of the PDPA, the health insurance database has been processed so that the specific party cannot be identified, and it is used by public agencies or academic research institutions for medical and health purposes. Doing necessary statistical or academic research complies with the principles of legal clarity and proportionality, and does not violate the Constitution.   However, the judge believes that the current personal data law or other relevant regulations still lack an independent supervision mechanism for personal data protection, and the protection of personal information privacy is insufficient. In addition, important matters such as personal health insurance data can be stored, processed, and transmitted externally by the National Health Insurance Administration in a database; the subject, purpose, requirements, scope, and method of providing external use; and organizational and procedural supervision and protection mechanisms, etc. Articles 79 and 80 of the Health Insurance Law and other relevant laws lack clear provisions, so they are determined to be unconstitutional.   In the end, the judge found that the relevant laws and regulations lacked the provisions that the parties can request to stop using the data, whether it is the right of the parties to request to stop, or the procedures to be followed to stop the use, there is no relevant clear text, obviously the protection of information privacy is insufficient. Therefore, regarding unconstitutional issues, the Constitutional Court ordered the relevant agencies to amend the Health Insurance Law and related laws within 3 years, or formulate specific laws.

Suggestions for MOEA Trial Program of Voluntary Base Green Electricity Framework

On March 6, 2014, The Energy Bureau of Ministry of Economic Affairs has published a pre-announcement on a Trial Program of Voluntary Base Green Electricity Framework (hereafter the Trial Program) and consulted on public opinion. In light of the content of the Trial Program, STLI provide the following suggestions for future planning of related policy structure. The institution of green electricity as established by the Trial Program is one of the policies for promoting renewable energy. Despite its nature of a trial, it is suggested that a policy design with a more options will be beneficial to the promotion of renewable energy, in light of various measures that have been undertaken by different countries. According to the Trial Program, the planned price rate of the green electricity is set on the basis of the total sum that the electricity subsidy to be paid by the Renewable Energy Development Fund divided by the total sum of electricity generated reported by Tai Power Company. The Ministry of Economic Affairs will adjust the price rate of the green electricity on the base of both how many users subscribe to the green electricity and the price rate of international green electricity market rate and, then announce the price rate in October of each year if not otherwise designated. In addition, according to the planned Trial Program, the unit for the subscription of green electricity is 100 kW·h. It is further reported that the current planned price rate for green electricity is 1.06 NTD/ kW·h. And it shall be 3.95 NTD/ kW·h if adding up with the original price rate, with an 37% increase in price per kW·h. In terms of the existing content of the Trial Program, only single price rate will be offered during the trial period. In this regard, we take the view that it would be beneficial to take into account similar approaches that have been taken by other countries. In Germany, for instance, the furtherance of renewable energy is achieved by the obligatory charge(EEG Umlage)together with the voluntary green electricity program provided by the private electricity retail sectors. According to German Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi), the electricity price that the German public pays includes three parts: (1)the cost of the purchase and distribution of the electricity, including the margin of the electricity provider(2)regulated network fees, including those for the operation as well as for the measurement works of the meters(3)charges imposed by the government, including tax and the abovementioned obligatory charge for renewable energy(EEG Umlage), as prescribed by the Act on Renewable Energy (Gesetz für den Vorrang Erneuerbarer Energien, also known as Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz - EEG). In terms of how it is implemented on the ground, an example of the green electricity price menu program from the German electricity retail company, Vattenfall, is given in the following. In all price menu programs provided by Vattenfall in Berlin, for instance, 29.4% of the electricity comes from renewable energy as a result of the implementation of the Act on Renewable Energy. Asides from the abovementioned percentage as facilitated by the existing obligatory measures, the electricity retail companies in Germany further provide the price menus that are “greener”. For example, among the options provided by Vattenfall(Chart I), in terms of the 12-month program, one can choose the menu which consist of 39.4% of renewable energy, with the price of 0.2642 Euro/ kW·h(about 10.96 NTD/ kW·h). One can also opt for a menu of which the energy supply comes from 100% of renewable energy, with the price of 0.281 Euro/ kW·h(about 11.66 NTD/ kW·h) Chart I : Green Electricity Price Menus provided by Vattenfall in Berlin, Germany Percentage of Renewable Energy Supply Percentage of Renewable Energy Supply Electricity Price 12-month program 39.4% 0.2642 Euro/ kW·h(about 10.96 NTD/ kW·h) All renewable energy program 100% 0.281 Euro/ kW·h(about 11.66 NTD/ kW·h) Source:Vattenfall website, translated and reorganized by STLI, April 214. In addition, Australia also has similar programs on green electricity that is voluntary-base and with the goal of promoting renewable energy, reducing carbon emission, and transforming energy economy. Since 1997, the GreenPower in Australia is in charge of audition and certification of the retail companies and power plants on green electricity. The Australian model uses the certification mechanism conducted by independent third party, to ensure the green electricity purchased by end users in compliance with specific standards. As for the options for the price menu, take the programs of green electricity offered by the Australian retail company Origin Energy for example, user can choose 6 kinds of different programs, which are composed by renewable energy supply of respectively 10%, 20%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%, at various price rates (shown in Chart II). Chart II Australian Green Electricity Programs provided by Origin Energy Percentage of renewable Energy Electricity Price per kW·h 0 0.268 AUD(About 7.52 NTD) 10% 0.274868 AUD(About 7.69 NTD) 20% 0.28006 AUD(About 7.84 NTD) 25% 0.28292 AUD(About 7.92 NTD) 50% 0.2838 AUD(About 7.95 NTD) 100% 0.2992 AUD(About 8.37 NTD) Source:Origin Energy website, translated and reorganized by STLI, April 214. Given the information above, it can thus be inferred that the international mechanism for the promotion of green electricity often include a variety of price menus, providing the user more options. Such as two difference programs offered by Vattenfall in Germany and six various rates for green electricity offered by Origin Energy in Australia. It is the suggestion of present brief that the Trial Program can reference these international examples and try to offer the users a greater flexibility in choosing the most suitable programs for themselves.

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