Keywords: Brazil, internet act, House of Representatives, disclosure, data, storage, third party content

The House of Representatives has approved Bill 2,126/2011 (the so called 'Internet Act'), which establishes general principles for use of internet in Brazil. The bill is now pending examination and approval by the Federal Senate. However, approval is expected to occur shortly.

The bill's innovations are mainly with respect to users' privacy and to the neutrality of internet. Some of the main aspects of the bill are detailed below:

  • Neutrality of Internet: service providers must treat all data packages without distinction of content, origin and destination, service, terminal or application. Distinctions may only occur due to technical requirements necessary to provide the services and for the prioritization of emergency services.
  • Disclosure of Data: the storage and disclosure of users' data by service providers must preserve the intimacy, privacy, honor and image of any person involved. Disclosure of personal data can only occur with a judicial order. Failure to comply with these rules may result in fine of up to 10% of annual revenues of the economic group in Brazil and suspension of activities.
  • Brazilian Laws: the collection, storage and treatment of personal data and communications which occurs in Brazil, involves a terminal in Brazil or is destined to the Brazilian public is subject to Brazilian laws even if agents are located abroad.
  • Liability for Third Party Content: service providers will not be liable for damages for third party created content, except for failure to comply, to the extent technically possible, with judicial order explicitly determining the content to be removed. Service providers may also be liable for unauthorized disclosure of intimate photos and videos if, after receiving notification from the affected person, they fail to diligently - and to extent technically possible - act so as to make the content unavailable.
  • No Obligation to keep databases in Brazil: The controversial amendment, proposed by Government after news that Brazilian Government officials were subject to electronic monitoring by the United States National Security Agency, that intended to force internet companies to store data from Brazilian users in servers located within the territory of Brazil, has been removed after intense opposition.

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This article provides information and comments on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters discussed herein.