Cédric Laurant comments on Latin America’s new data protection and cybersecurity regulatory landscape, and what it means for companies operating in the region

Even businesses operating at a country or regional level should prepare for new and stricter rules, as Latin American governments are expected to follow the lead from developed economies.  Cédric Laurant, a global data privacy attorney and public policy expert based in Mexico, believes that Latin America will be the next big region after Asia to see a major overhaul in its data protection regulatory landscape.  “The two very different models [US and EU] are being pushed on Latin American governments. In the next three to five years, most countries will have a specific law on data protection and they will come up with regulations, gradually.”

Latin America

Latin America

Laurant predicts data protection laws and regulation will be enacted in an effort to promote business and trade and attract investment – not so much for protecting individual rights.  “The highest motivation for Latin American governments to push for data protection laws is to foster commerce with other countries and attract foreign investment in call centres or the outsourced IT industry, to name a few.”

In the meantime, in-house lawyers in Latin America have to navigate through a maze of rules and requirements. Laurant says that most big countries in South America have already enacted some form of data protection legislation, but haven’t implemented them through regulations yet.  Another common feature is poor enforcement mechanisms.  “Argentina and Uruguay offer ‘adequate protection’, demonstrating that they have been considered as having a legal framework offering protections at least close enough to the EU data protection framework.  Colombia has started to demonstrate strong enforcement through its new data protection authority, while Mexico is a bit slow to enforce the law in the same way,” he adds.

Full article available at: Hugo Coelho, “Cyber Insecurity”, The Latin American Corporate Counsel Association (United Kingdom) (21 February 2013)

1 Comment
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