March 11, 2015

Newsletter 2015.04 – New draft bill of law presents challenges for companies regarding the protection of personal data

Companies commonly consider their databases as an intellectual asset. Brazilian Copyright Law recognizes that companies own the architecture of databases that can be considered works of authorship, either by the selection, organization or disposition of its contents (article 7, XIII of Federal Law n. 9.610/1998). However, some aspects must be considered when databases contain private information (usually consumer’s data). Given that such data relate to natural persons’ privacy, strong objections are raised in society against the unauthorized treatment and transfer of such information. Unlike other countries, only now this became an issue in Brazil and under an scrutiny of experts and the allegedly mistreatment of client’s personal data by some companies that the debate about the new draft bill of law was recently introduced.
For the last thirty years, Brazilian legal framework has superficially touched the protection of personal data.  Dispositions were spread in the Federal Constitution, the Consumer Protection Code, the federal laws on access to public information and on industrial property, as well as on the Civil Rights Framework for the internet. Still, the lack of a single law fully regulating the issue has led to undesired levels of legal uncertainty.
An old promise of the Ministry of Justice, the Draft Bill of Law on the Protection of Personal Data was finally disclosed last January. Long-awaited by companies, lawyers and consumer defense entities, the draft is under public consultation until April 30, 2015 and might be refined bt the Ministry before its submission to the Congress. It is already possible, though, from the analysis of the document, to derive some conclusions that may guide companies with regard to the best practices to be adopted until the effective enactment of the law.

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