9 Things To Know About Brazil’s Internet Legislation

Brazil Privacy

Helped by thousands of Twitter and blog commentaries, the so-called Brazilian Internet Constitution Act (“Marco Civil”) was created in 2014. This law is one of the first internet regulations in the world, and for this reason, some aspects of this Brazilian innovation must be considered:

1 – Principle of Neutralization (Net Neutrality)

Brazil’s internet legislation has chosen a principle of fairness in order to control some discrepancies that may happen by prohibiting service discrimination. In other words, providers cannot lower Internet speed based on economic parameters. There are some exceptions to the rule, but considering that just half of  the Brazilian population has access to the Internet, this is a tremendous incentive for companies to spread more technology, instead of restricting it.

2 – Privacy

The Marco Civil legislation forces providers to secure all information given by users for one year as confidential Moreover, providers cannot keep personal information about users, except for their IP addresses. In order to match the user and IP, a judicial order is required.

3 – Content Preservation

The Marco Civil law specifies that in accordance with the Brazilian Constitutional Act, information pertaining a person’s private life, honour and image must be secured. It is important to highlight that Brazil’s Penal Code and the Constitutional Act protect all these rights as well.

4 – Length of Maintenance of Information

According to the Law, user information may be maintained for just one year. Providers also cannot transmit the liability in securing this data to another company.

5 – Candidness

Providers must be clear and provide complete information in all situations where user data must be kept, or allow disclosure with reasonable justification. All the terms must be written in the contract and the policy of Internet usage must be clear and public.

6 – Prohibition on Selling Information

Besides all the above restrictions on disclosure of information, providers also cannot sell the information to another company. Before the Marco Civil Code, all personal data was almost immediately sold (and all sorts of promotions and offers would come up in just a few seconds in your personal e-mail).

7 – Avoiding Acts of Censure

The new regulation tries to avoid censure by prohibiting exclusion of offensive matters without a court order. Therefore, providers are not legally liable for what is published by their users, and have the right of defense its interests in Court after to be obligated to exclude a specific content. Some exceptions are applied  regarding to pedophilia, racism and hatred speech.

8 – Provider Must Show Care About Its Content

The liability restriction is excluded when, after a court order, the provider does not exclude the damaging content, which confirms the law power in keeping the effectiveness of court order.  Furthermore, providers are not allowed to escape of the law arguing they are not liable by the content.

9 – Consumer Protection

 The regulation expressly guarantees all consumers rights must be respected in online environment, which has a strong impact for  e-commerce. Although the Brazilian Consumer Act is strict, this mention of consumer protection in the Marco Civil expels all possibilities of exclusion of consumer rights in terms of buying and selling online.

The bilingual version of the Marco Civil legislation is available here.

Image Credit: DonkeyHotey, Flickr Creative Commons. Reprinted with permission. No change to original image.

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About: Samia Trautvein

Samia is Law graduate from Mackenzie University, in São Paulo, Brazil. Her passion and also work background is Tax Law and all the areas related to it, specially Business Law and Intellectual Property. She loves how knowledge can spread through the internet and that is why she is glad to write here.

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