Internet privacy debate has become politically charged, says Eversheds

Paula Barrett, international head of privacy and information law at Eversheds, has commented following controversial amendments to a draft internet privacy bill in Brazil. 

Barrett said: ‘This latest twist in the Marco Civil proposals, if adopted, could be far-reaching, not just hitting well-known US consumer-facing technology business, but adding greater cost burdens to other international businesses right across the spectrum of sectors — some of them smaller operations looking to expand into and bring jobs into Brazil, who want to use the internet or allow their staff to do so.’

She added that there was a wider concern the bill could encourage other countries to close their electronic borders in this way and that ‘the principles of protection of privacy, net neutrality and freedom of expression can be served without this reactive amendment’.

‘Happening at the same time as debate on inclusion of data protection rules in trade talks and the future of the flow of data between the EU and the US, it seems the pendulum is swinging towards protection of privacy, in an increasingly politically charged debate, but the cost to trade should not be ignored at a fragile time in the global economy.’