Information Security

Personal information and other important information are appropriately managed and protected based on the established information management policies and internal regulations, so as to ensure information security.
To raise employees’ awareness about information security, Mazda requires its employees to execute training on the management of confidential information, protection of personal information, and IT security. When newly joining the Company, management of confidential information is covered in the introduction program, while e-learning is used for personal information protection and IT security training. Other continuous education efforts are also available, including an Intranet site dedicated to information and knowledge on information security. For companies in the Mazda Group, Mazda provides guidelines and educational tools regarding information security, realizing a group-wide effort to ensure information security. Moreover, Mazda newly established the Regulations for the Handling of Specific Personal Information in October 2015, to be prepared for the enforcement of the Social Security and Tax Number System. The Company also extended support to initiatives by its Group companies.

IT Security Management Rules

The IT security policy based on the BS 7799*1 framework has been established as IT security management rules, under which the mechanisms for security control and monitoring that should be incorporated into IT systems are determined. Whether such mechanisms are properly installed and operated is confirmed on both a regular and random basis.

*1 Standards on information security management established by the British Standards Institution (BSI), on which ISO/ IEC27001 & 27002, the current international standards for information security management, are based.

Protection of Personal Information

Mazda rigorously protects personal information in line with its own Personal Information Protection Policy.
Handling rules are set out in order to ensure appropriate management of personal information, regular examination of management records for retained personal data is taken, and management statuses are checked once a year. In cases in which the handling of personal information is entrusted to outside parties, such contractors are carefully selected based on a checklist which determined the necessary items including security management. The Mazda Call Center responds to customers who wish to inquire about the Company’s handling of personal information and those who request disclosure regarding privacy issues.

Personal Information Protection Policy

The Company endeavors to adequately protect the personal information of its customers, business partners, employees and other parties in accordance with laws and regulations on the protection of personal information and the basic guidelines described below.

  1. 1. Mazda shall establish Regulations for the Protection of Personal Information, to be adhered to by all parties that handle personal information.
  2. 2. Mazda shall put in place a presiding supervisor for the management of personal information, and provide corresponding educational activities for its employees (directors, employees, part-time workers, temporary agency workers, etc.) and other related persons.
  3. 3. Mazda shall acquire personal information through appropriate means. When collecting personal information, Mazda shall either inform that person of the purposes of use and its contact address, or announce such information by a well-recognized method or methods (such as through a website).
  4. 4. At Mazda, personal information shall only be utilized by those who have been authorized to manage such data, to the extent disclosed to the parties concerned or publicly announced, and within the scope necessary.
  5. 5. Mazda shall take all necessary measures required by law, including obtaining consent from the relevant party, for the provision of such personal information to a third party.
  6. 6. If Mazda assigns a third party to any business relating to personal information, the Company shall make an appropriate selection of the assignee for such business, and take all necessary measures required by law, such as conducting necessary and adequate supervision.
  7. 7. If Mazda receives any claim for disclosure, correction, suspension, or elimination of all or any part of the personal information retained by the Company, Mazda shall react appropriately in accordance with laws after the Company confirms that said claim was made by the relevant party.
  8. 8. Mazda shall ensure reasonable security measures, and continuously improve such measures to prevent illegal access, loss, destruction, falsification, and/or leakage of personal information.

Basic Policy on Intellectual Property

Mazda’s overall vision for intellectual property is to use intellectual property as a management resource in support of its business management and enterprise activities, based on respect for its own and others’ intellectual property.
Based on this vision, Mazda has established an Intellectual Property Committee to discuss and decide key items regarding intellectual property.
The committee is comprised of division general managers from related divisions and chaired by an executive officer responsible for intellectual property issues.
Also, the invention incentive system increases motivation for inventions among employees working at the forefront of research and development, comprising division general managers from related divisions and chaired by an executive officer responsible for intellectual property issues.
For its Group companies in Japan and overseas, Mazda supports them in developing/ implementing policies and establishing systems for handling intellectual property, with the aim of enhancing the intellectual property management functions of the entire Mazda Group.

Invention and device awards

Once a year on Mazda’s foundation day, certificates of commendation, commemorative medals, prize money, etc. are presented to the selected recipients through the manager of their department. No limit is set for the amount of prize money, so that inventors are fully rewarded for their contribution.

Results for FY March 2015

Registration award: 366 cases/1,174 persons in total
Special award: 9 cases/35 persons in total
Multiple invention award: 11 persons
New inventor award: 153 persons

Protection of Intellectual Property and Intellectual Property Risk Management

Mazda’s dedicated Intellectual Property Department leads Company activities regarding intellectual properties so as not to infringe upon the intellectual property rights of other companies, and conducts strategic activities aimed at fiercely protecting, accumulating, and making optimal use of the intellectual properties generated through these in-house activities.

  1. 1. Exhaustively uncovers and globally obtains rights concerning intellectual properties created by its business activities, including new technologies, markings, model names and vehicle designs, and protects Mazda technologies and the Mazda brand.
  2. 2. Takes steps to exhaustively investigate as well as prevent and solve any problems regarding intellectual properties that may obstruct business activities in each domain, such as infringement of other parties’ patent rights; trademark rights, design rights and copyrights; and violations of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act.

To avoid patent litigation driven by patent trolls*2, which has been increasing mainly in the United States, Mazda joined the License on Transfer Network*3 in March 2015.

*2 A patent troll is an organization or group that is not engaged in technology development itself but acquires patents for technologies developed by others, for the purpose of demanding unreasonably high patent royalties or settlement money from third parties that use the relevant technologies.
*3 A patent association established in July 2014 by Canon Inc., Google Inc. and some other companies. If a member company sells a patent it owns to an external organization, group, or individual, the license for the patent will be automatically granted to other member companies. (If a patent troll obtains a patent of a member company, Mazda cannot be charged a patent royalty by the patent troll.)

Awareness-Raising Activities

The Mazda Corporate Ethics Code of Conduct stipulates “Protect confidential information. Never infringe on any intellectual property rights, whether belonging to Mazda or another party,” so as to clearly convey a relevant code of conduct to all employees and guide their behavior.
The Intellectual Property Department is responsible for the overall management of intellectual property, and also regularly conducts awareness-raising activities to instill respect for intellectual property law. Based on periodic review of risks according to changes in the external environment, the Department offers awareness-raising programs tailored to the management level and position of each employee and executive in Mazda and each Mazda Group company at home and overseas, and to the type of intellectual property in question.
Specifically, for example, the Department provides staff members of indirect divisions/departments with education on problems of copyright that can arise from the use of the Internet and violation of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act. Awareness-raising efforts are made for the departments in charge of creating and publishing materials for outside the Company in order to prevent intellectual property problems.

Brand Protection (Measures against Imitation Products)

To protect the customers, the Intellectual Property Department makes a sustained effort in collaboration with related departments to eliminate the risk posed to customers by the purchase of imitation products. This effort is aimed at supporting and improving the strength of the Mazda brand and its trustworthiness, as a brand that continues to be relied on by customers.

  1. 1. Mazda develops and implements its own measures against the sale of imitation products.
  2. 2. Mazda actively participates in programs organized by the private and public sectors against imitations.
  3. 3. Mazda appoints permanent staff from among the members most knowledgeable in intellectual property issues to liaise with countries and regions that are major sources of imitation products. Working with government and other agencies tasked with exposing imitation products, these staff members work to devise measures to stem the flow of such products.