By TEDIC

The fight for digital rights to be fully protected in Paraguay is ongoing, but it is important to acknowledge how far we’ve come. Our organization has made great strides and had many successes, and Indela’s support has been key in achieving our objectives.

Comprehensive personal data protection law

The work of TEDIC—and its local and international partners—to drive a robust personal data protection ecosystem in Paraguay began several years ago. Founded by TEDIC along with APADIT, Paraguay Ciberseguro, ISOC- Capítulo Paraguay and Abente Stewart Abogados, we acquired a renewed drive alongside Indela through the strengthening of the Personal Data Coalition in Paraguay.

In partnership with the Science and Technology Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, the Coalition led a series of activities to co-create a comprehensive personal data protection law. We launched a website that allowed for receipt of 103 comments from national and international personal data protection specialists. In addition, representatives of the public and private sector held several meetings to and offered 9 workshops featuring international specialists in the subject.

After an official act of presentation of the preliminary draft for reception of final comments, the Coalition—and the Science and Technology Commission—officially submitted the preliminary draft to the Chamber of Deputies on April 30, 2021.

Legal Clinic on Digital Rights

At TEDIC, we believe it is essential to create training spaces for public and private actors in matters of human rights and technology. Our cooperation with Indela has allowed us to establish and strengthen ties with the Universidad Nacional de Asunción School of Law and to create the country’s first Legal Clinic on Digital Rights.

Through an open call[1], the clinic’s first class of students was formed and we held classes on topics such as privacy and personal data protection, freedom of expression, access to information, electronic voting, gender on the Internet and more. This first experience culminated with the presentation of articles prepared by this student class.

Strategic litigation

The partnership with Indela made it possible to take on a series of strategic litigation actions with a focus on increasing the visibility of problematic situations occurring in the country and contradicting full validity of the rule of law.

In particular, we highlight the importance of the strategic litigation and communication campaign used in the Belén Whittingslow Case. The creation of a web page dedicated to the case, as well as various flyers, videos, and other means of communication, have generated considerable interest among the population. This case will be brought before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and is in the closing stage.

Additionally, we have initiated litigation questioning the installation of facial recognition cameras in public spaces and an appeal against the refusal to provide public information on its collection of personal data. The electronic ticketing system these technologies use is still new and has generated interest and a series of debates among the public.

Finally, we highlight the major support of the Legal Clinic and the students’ commitment to the successful development of the strategic litigation initiatives filed by TEDIC. We believe that space has been and is crucial for promoting the education of law students from practice.

Antivirus series

The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic forced TEDIC to rethink effective ways to communicate. We created the “Antivirus” series, which includes live webinars in which we discuss issues related to digital rights and digital security strategies. Finally, we held a virtual party at which we presented our new work on technology, human rights, and different actions within the scope of the Indela project. The event was attended by more than 150 people from various countries.

Summary

These accomplishments demonstrate that TEDIC’s work, carried out in partnership with local and international organizations, is always the best way forward.

The creation of the preliminary draft law and the various coordinated activities led to the development of a robust digital rights ecosystem. The ongoing assistance of these people indicates not only the interest acquired by the subject but also the State’s commitment to working for comprehensive legislation with the objective of protecting citizens.

In addition, the strategic litigation made it possible to deepen alliances with specialized local organizations on litigation as well as with academia through the Legal Clinic. We believe there is still much work to be done to consolidate the programmatic area of digital law at the School of Law and the Judiciary. We also emphasize that the strategic litigation work and its dissemination have helped position TEDIC as a leader in this area and make its actions visible in the regional agenda; this is evidenced by our inclusion in international panels and regional campaigns.

We can conclude with certainty that the partnership with Indela was key to supporting and achieving these activities. We still have a long way to go on the road toward a Paraguayan society with full enforcement of digital rights. However, it is important to acknowledge the accomplishments achieved in an uncertain national and global context, and thus gain momentum to move forward.

 

 

[1] A total of 30 applications were received, and 10 students were ultimately selected.