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Data protection in Latin American countries

By: Cristina Antequera

June 19, 2023

Data protection regulations are fundamental to guarantee that any natural or legal person, public or private, has ensured the privacy of their personal data. In an increasingly digitized world, where large amounts of information are generated and shared, it is necessary to have rules to ensure the security and proper and proportionate use of data.

The protection of personal data in each Latin American country is regulated differently, and there is no harmonization of standards in the region. Most countries are currently developing data protection laws or adapting to the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but there are still differences and challenges in terms of the development and harmonization of standards in the region.

In this article we take a look at the main data protection laws that exist in Latin American countries:

  • Argentina:

It was the first country to establish a regulation for the protection of personal data in 2000, following the European model. It is currently in the process of reform to adapt to the GDPR.

  • Brazil:

The LGPD Law 13079 of 2018 (entry into force in 21) is strongly inspired by the European Data Protection Regulation. The LGPD created obligations and standards for whoever processes personal data and instituted the National Data Protection Authority (ANPD).

  • Chile:

Currently under discussion in the Senate is the new Personal Data Bill that substantially modifies the Data Protection Law No. 19,628 of 99 which expressly establishes principles that regulate and inform the use of personal data and new rights of data owners.

  • Colombia:

There is extensive regulation in relation to the treatment and protection of personal data with laws that have been in force since 2012 (law 1581 of 2012 regulated in the years 2013, 2015 and 2022). A bill is currently underway to strengthen the right to the protection of personal data against the sending of advertising messages through text messages (SMS), web messages and emails, by companies that provide commerce services.

  • Ecuador:

The Organic Law on Personal Data Protection came into force in Ecuador on May 26, 2021. The law established a 2-year term that ended on May 26, 2023 for companies to adapt their policies to the norm, under administrative sanctioning processes in case of non-compliance.

  • Mexico:

It has had a federal personal data protection law since 2010, which is complemented by other sectorial and state regulations.

  • Paraguay:

It has Law No. 6534 / on the Protection of Personal Credit Data, which while emphasizing the protection of credit data also includes regulations regarding the protection of sensitive data.

  • Peru:

There is the Personal Data Protection Law (LPDP) 28733 of 2011, in force since 2013. The General Directorate for the Protection of Personal Data is the body in charge of exercising the National Authority for the Protection of Personal Data.

  • Dominican Republic: 

The protection of personal data is protected in the Constitution in its Art. 44 (Right to Privacy and Personal Honor) and in Law No. 172-13. There is no responsible authority.

  • Uruguay:

The right to the protection of personal data is a human right of constitutional hierarchy and is specifically regulated in Law 18331.The Regulatory and Control Unit for Personal Data (URCDP) is the controlling authority.

  • Venezuela:

There is currently no Data Protection Law per se, although there are some references in general scattered norms (constitution, Children’s Law, Law of the Supreme Court of Justice, art. 167). Therefore, in this country it depends on contractual clauses included by individuals.

Based on this scenario, data protection is a key issue in Latin America. Hence the need to be up to date with the laws governing this matter and adopt best practices to ensure security and respect for the privacy of individuals.

At ClarkeModet we understand the importance of privacy and information security and we are your perfect ally in the protection of personal data. Thanks to our extensive presence and roots in Latin America, our experts have vast experience and knowledge in the field of data protection.

If you need advice to align and adapt your company’s data protection to the current legislation or prepare for the new legislation to be approved and avoid sanctions, our team of experts is ready to help you.

Request your advice by sending an email to consultancy@clarkemodet.com and find out how we can help you.

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