My Data My Rules: An Overview of Data Protection in Brazil

My Data My Rules

Fábio Pereira

January 4, 2017 12:00 AM

Data can be one of a business’ most valuable assets. Market players such as Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, and Twitter were built almost entirely on data. Because of the increase in data-tracking techniques, countries, companies, and individuals are more and more concerned with how their data—private or professional—is being collected, stored, processed, and transferred.

Data protection is about safeguarding an individual’s fundamental right to privacy, which is enshrined in international laws and conventions. Individuals, citizens, and consumers need to have effective means to exercise their right to privacy and protect themselves and their information from abuse.

Unfortunately, although there have been important developments in data protection, our society still struggles to understand the relevance of the matter because data protection is often in early stages of development in many jurisdictions. Brazil, for instance, is often left out of global projects involving personal data because it lacks specific legislation and is considered to be without an adequate level of data protection.

Laws on data privacy are extremely important, not only to consumers, but also to companies, because they tend to increase the legal certainty in commercial relationships, mitigate the risk of business activities, and facilitate new businesses and partnerships. The purpose of these regulations is to vest citizens with the basic rights regarding the use of their personal information, enabling greater control over the collection of such information, whether located in the national territory or in servers abroad.

In Brazil, even though there is no specific privacy or data protection law, personal data is protected under the general terms of the Brazilian Federal Constitution, the Brazilian Civil Code (Law No. 10,406/2002), the Brazilian Consumer Defence Code (“CDC” - Law No. 8,078/1990), the Brazilian Internet Act (Law No. 12,965/2014), and its Regulating Decree (Decree No. 8,771/2016).

Generally, information customarily collected and processed in Brazil includes names, addresses, dates of birth, ID numbers, preferences in relation to a specific industry, tastes, hobbies, etc.

The Brazilian Federal Constitution sets forth general principles that protect the privacy and confidentiality of personal information and communications. Accordingly, it provides for the right to intimacy, privacy, honor, and image of individuals, which shall not be violated. The Constitution also establishes that individuals have the right to consult any information about themselves and to request amendments to keep their data accurate at all times. Violation of the above rights entitles the individual (data subject) to indemnification for moral and material damages.

Additionally, based on Law No. 12,965/2014 (“the Internet Act”), which sets forth a legal framework for regulating the internet in the country, internet users shall be guaranteed, among other guarantees, the non-violation of their intimacy and private life as well as the non-violation and secrecy of their communications over the internet and stored private communications. The Internet Act does not provide which types of personal information may be collected from users. Generally, information customarily collected and processed in Brazil includes names, addresses, dates of birth, ID numbers, preferences in relation to a specific industry, tastes, hobbies, etc. Concerning the proposed regulations currently under discussion in Brazil, it is worth mentioning that the Bill of Law on Personal Data Protection (Bill of Law No. 5,276/2016) aims to regulate the processing of personal data by the government, individuals, companies, and other organizations.

The bill lists a series of principles that shall be observed in data processing, in addition to the general principle of good faith, such as purpose, necessity, transparency, security, and nondiscrimination. Consent is a key element of the bill, and data subjects must have easy access to information about the treatment of their own data, which shall be done in a clear, adequate, and purposeful way.

Finally, the bill has a special section dedicated to the creation of the National Counsel of Data and Privacy Protection, an official authority responsible for the progressive adequacy of current databases to the bill’s requirements.

Voting and approval of the aforementioned bill are anticipated to occur later this year. The society in general, companies, and the government are optimistic about having a more definitive regulation on privacy and data protection, since this is a subject of high relevance from a commercial standpoint, and Brazil, as an important market player, is expected to enact a strong data protection framework, assuming its leading role in Latin America.

Related Articles

Social Media and Other Innovations Are Jarring the Judiciary

by Michelle V. Rafter

Judge Shira A. Scheindlin means it when she says social media is “totally disrupting the court system.”

Law: Predictive analytics & social media

Privacy Practice

by Casey Waughn

Data protection is all the rage among tech companies and state, national (and even transnational) governments alike. Is it a passing fad or here to stay? And how should businesses and groups of all sizes handle compliance with a blizzard of new laws?

Data Protection Prompt New Privacy Laws

Internet Speech in the Crosshairs

by Ari Holtzblatt and Jamie Gorelick

Charges of anti-right bias notwithstanding, online platforms are on solid ground when they defend their policies and procedures as neutral and protected by the First Amendment.

Is Internet Speech Protected?

Six Steps to Social Media Success for Law Firms

by Bria Burk

Firms can use social media to promote awards, establish their positions, and bring attention to a practice area.

How Should Law Firms Use Social Media?

Recent Developments on Privacy and Data Protection in Brazil

by Ricardo Barretto Ferreira da Silva and Camila Taliberti Ribeiro da Silva

A change of paradigm is urgent and requires a robust legislation on personal data protection.

Privacy and Data Protection Brazil

The Future of Data Privacy: You Can Run but You Can’t Hide (or Can You?)

by Chad W. King

In Ernest Cline’s dystopian novel "Ready Player One," the world’s population is addicted to a virtual reality game called the OASIS.

The Future of Data Privacy

Press and Publicity: How Television and Social Media Impact Legal Careers

by Justin Smulison

In recent years, with social media giving minute by minute reporting, many lawyers are finding themselves thrust into a spotlight they never planned for. How are lawyers grappling with unexpected stardom, media coverage and merciless influencers?

Close up of camera at news station

Current State of EU to U.S. Data Transfers

by Gregory Sirico

The Biden Administration and European Commission recently came to a principle political agreement concerning the ever-changing future of EU to U.S. data transfers.

New Framework for EU and U.S. Data Transfers

Announcing the 7th Annual Women in the Law Publication

by Best Lawyers

The 7th Annual Women in the Law publication is a celebration of all the female legal talent across the country, honoring every woman listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America.

Honoring Female Lawyers in the United States

New England States With Incoming Legislation

by Gregory Sirico

Best Lawyers takes an in depth look at newly proposed bills, litigation and cases coming out of four New England states.

New England Laws Taking Effect in 2022

Facebook Whistleblower Testimony Shines A Light On Credibility Factor

by Justin Smulison

Landmark whistleblower testimony was provided on Capitol Hill which may have a national—and even worldwide—effect on how governments regulate Big Tech companies.

Capitol Hill Facebook Whistleblower Testimony

How Does Your Firm Measure Up?

by Best Lawyers

BL Intelligence provides your firm with valuable industry data.

Best Lawyers 27th Edition Stats

A Sea Change on Land

by Linda A. Klein and Suneel Gupta

Autonomous vehicles will revolutionize almost every area of the law. Here’s a look at what’s rapidly approaching.

Legal Considerations for Autonomous Vehicles

One Reason Why Uber Is Fighting to Classify Drivers as Contractors

by Stephen Hasner

How Workers' Compensation Is Setting Up a Legal Battle

 Why Uber Wants Drivers as Contractors

David Ackert's Top Advice on Social Media and Client Prospecting

by Best Lawyers

The president of Ackert Inc. offers his insights on business development to Best Lawyers following the 2019 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference.

Social Media Tips for Law Firms

A Startup Accelerator Program Sets Cuatrecasas Apart

by Best Lawyers

Miguel de Almada and Frederico Bettencourt Ferreira from the Portuguese firm discuss their 2019 "Law Firm of the Year" award for Litigation and Arbitration.

Cuatrecasas "Law Firm of the Year"

Trending Articles

How Palworld Is Testing the Limits of Nintendo’s Legal Power

by Gregory Sirico

Many are calling the new game Palworld “Pokémon GO with guns,” noting the games striking similarities. Experts speculate how Nintendo could take legal action.

Animated figures with guns stand on top of creatures

Announcing the 2023 The Best Lawyers in America Honorees

by Best Lawyers

Only the top 5.3% of all practicing lawyers in the U.S. were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 29th edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.

Gold strings and dots connecting to form US map

The U.S. Best Lawyers Voting Season Is Open

by Best Lawyers

The voting season for the 31st edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and the 5th edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America is officially underway, and we are offering some helpful advice to this year’s voters.

Golden figures of people standing on blue surface connected by white lines

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers® in the United States

by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers listed in the 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and in the 2nd Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2022.

2022 Best Lawyers Listings for United States

How To Find A Pro Bono Lawyer

by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers dives into the vital role pro bono lawyers play in ensuring access to justice for all and the transformative impact they have on communities.

Hands joined around a table with phone, paper, pen and glasses

What the Courts Say About Recording in the Classroom

by Christina Henagen Peer and Peter Zawadski

Students and parents are increasingly asking to use audio devices to record what's being said in the classroom. But is it legal? A recent ruling offer gives the answer to a question confusing parents and administrators alike.

Is It Legal for Students to Record Teachers?

2021 Best Lawyers: The Global Issue

by Best Lawyers

The 2021 Global Issue features top legal talent from the most recent editions of Best Lawyers and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch worldwide.

2021 Best Lawyers: The Global Issue

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2023

by Best Lawyers

The third edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™ highlights the legal talent of lawyers who have been in practice less than 10 years.

Three arrows made of lines and dots on blue background

The Upcycle Conundrum

by Karen Kreider Gaunt

Laudable or litigious? What you need to know about potential copyright and trademark infringement when repurposing products.

Repurposed Products and Copyright Infringemen

The Best Lawyers in Australia™ 2024 Launch

by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers is excited to announce The Best Lawyers in Australia™ for 2023, including the top lawyers and law firms from Australia.

Australian Parliament beside water at sunset

Best Lawyers Voting Is Now Open

by Best Lawyers

Voting has begun in several countries across the globe, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe. Below we offer dates, details and answers to voting-related questions to assist with the voting process.

Hands holding smartphone with five stars above phone

Inflation Escalation

by Ashley S. Wagner

Inflation and rising costs are at the forefront of everyone’s mind as we enter 2023. The current volatile market makes it more important than ever to understand the rent escalation clauses in current and future commercial lease agreements.

Suited figure in front of rising market and inflated balloon

Wage and Overtime Laws for Truck Drivers

by Greg Mansell

For truck drivers nationwide, underpayment and overtime violations are just the beginning of a long list of problems. Below we explore the wages you are entitled to but may not be receiving.

Truck Driver Wage and Overtime Laws in the US

A Celebration of Excellence: The Best Lawyers in Canada 2024 Awards

by Best Lawyers

As we embark on the 18th edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada™, we are excited to highlight excellence and top legal talent across the country.

Abstract image of red and white Canada flag in triangles

Announcing The Best Lawyers in South Africa™ 2024

by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers is excited to announce the landmark 15th edition of The Best Lawyers in South Africa™ for 2024, including the exclusive "Law Firm of the Year" awards.

Sky view of South Africa town and waterways

Presenting the 2024 Best Lawyers Family Law Legal Guide

by Best Lawyers

The 2024 Best Lawyers Family Law Legal Guide is now live and includes recognitions for all Best Lawyers family law awards. Read below and explore the legal guide.

Man entering home and hugging two children in doorway