Brazilians consider privacy laws in wake of NSA surveillance revelations
Posted Aug 21, 2013 8:59 AM CST
By Molly McDonough
Online U.S. and global businesses selling to Brazil-based consumers may have new privacy laws to contend with in the wake of concerns over revelations about National Security Agency surveillance activities.
The federal government in Brazil has proposed legislation that would force companies to store personal data collected about Brazilians on local servers, according to a report by Pinsent Masons' site Out-Law.com.
Out-Law.com relied on a translation of a Reuters report that said the legislation is proposed under the new civil rights law called Marco Civil da Internet.
Google and Facebook have both reportedly raised objections with the plans because it would increase costs to small and new technology companies doing business in Brazil. Citing a translated Agência Brasil report, Out-Law.com says Microsoft is less concerned because it already has data centers in Brazil.
Out-Law.com, which speculates that the proposed privacy law changes are a response to revelations about the NSA's data collection in its PRISM program, quotes an expert who also predicts the legislation could increase business costs.
"There are a lot of datacenter-related issues already, such as the high cost of electricity, access to skills and even the temperature, which makes it expensive to run those facilities in Brazil," William Beer, an information security expert at consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal, is quoted saying. "Then if you add regulation that will present further obstacles, companies might end up moving their IT operations to other South American countries where the rules are not so strict."