To stimulate action within civil society aimed at strengthening data protection in Paraguay
To promote the creation of a legislative bill on the protection of personal data with participation from the public and private sectors, as well as to advance the presentation of cases in the judiciary and establish a legal clinic for digital rights.
Paraguay needs a more consolidated and robust ecosystem of personal data protection within its borders. The country faces many challenges related to the lack of adequate regulation, particularly given that there is a history of using mass surveillance technologies, collecting biometric data indiscriminately and installing facial recognition cameras in public spaces without any guarantees or protections regarding the collection of personal data.
A personal data bill is urgently needed to prevent the disclosure and leakage of information from databases for commercial purposes, the exposure of sensitive data such as health diagnoses that may be subsequently used in discriminatory ways by workplaces and the storage of biometric data captured through facial recognition cameras, among others.
In Paraguay, a personal data bill had been circulating that only sought to regulate credit data. TEDIC advocated for a correction of the bill’s name to the Credit Data Law. As a result of this process, the first multisectoral Coalition of Personal Data was established. Consisting of TEDIC and other public and private institutions, the Coalition is discussing the preparation of a new personal data bill with a human rights approach.
How was this achieved?
• Created an inter-sectoral table: Following advocacy work, an inter-institutional table was generated for the preparation of the personal data bill.
• Initiated a comprehensive legislative project on the protection of personal data using a multi-stakeholder methodology: It is the first project of its kind in Paraguay, and if approved, it would provide the country a legal protection framework consistent with international standards.
• Established and developed a website for the Coalition of Personal Data; The website enables citizens to become informed about the importance of having a data protection law and grants them access to the bill as it is being drafted. Likewise, it allows for political actors and interested persons to comment on the bill.
• Organized a cycle of 12 talks given by experts within the framework of the personal data table: These talks allowed international experts to review and comment on the bill and to debate essential legal issues. Each talk had an average of 40 to 45 people from the public and private sectors.
• Presented strategic litigation to the judiciary: TEDIC introduced legal actions with a view to making the state transparent in its processes regarding the treatment of personal data.
• Received approval for the creation of the legal clinic: The National University of Asunción (UNA) School of Law resolved to approve the creation of a legal clinic for digital rights, a project which will commence within a few weeks. Geared toward students, it aims to generate knowledge, as well as social commitment, on the subject of digital rights.