Feature Note / Newsletter

Global context of data protection: fines and new investigations

5 September, 2019

On the eve of the amendment to the current law 19,628 on privacy protection, the call is to anticipate and prevent fines: to take extreme care in the processing of personal data and always have the prior and express consent of the relevant holders.

From the Cambridge Analytica case, where the personal information of millions of Facebook users was used, in violation of its privacy policies, it has been possible to observe how different international bodies are supervising and sanctioning with greater rigor in the matter of personal data protection.  An example of this are the recent -and millionaire- fines imposed on companies such as Marriott and British Airways (for leaking customer data) and recently on PwC (for processing the personal data of its employees without their consent).

Facebook, one of the most affected companies in this respect, in the framework of certain investigations against it, declared paying contractors to transcribe voice messages from users of its Messenger application, to verify the effectiveness of the artificial intelligence in which they were working.  Added to this is the recent agreement reached with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which forced it to pay a fine of $5 billion due to irregularities in its privacy system.

In Europe the issue has escalated to higher levels.  Recently, the European Court of Justice ruled that the owner of a web page that includes a Facebook like button will be jointly responsible with Facebook Ireland, assuming all the relevant obligations as controller of the treatment of the captured data.

As for the local scene, there are also Chilean companies that carry out practices that are not far from the cases just described.  In recent times some have recognized the use of facial recognition technologies and detection of behavioral patterns by tracking consumers in stores to measure hotspots.

On the eve of the amendment to the current law 19,628 on privacy protection, the call is to take extreme care in the processing of personal data, always have the prior and express consent of the relevant holders, as well as not to forget the important need for privacy policies and security measures appropriate to the risks of possible violations or leaks.

Jaime Urzúa W.
Associate Attorney Alessandri

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