During 2018 personal data formed a large part of the legal scene with the leak of the personal data of millions of Facebook users and the enforcement of the General Regulation of Data Protection of the European Union- GDPR-

Our country did not escape from this reality since, in recent years, the bill that regulated the matter in question had been discussed, although the adoption of a regulation on this matter was quite lagging behind.

On March 26, 2019, Law 81 on data protection was enacted, prior to this date personal data only had protection through constitutional provision where they are contemplated in articles 42 to 44.

It is not surprising that our new regulations adopt concepts similar to those contained in the GDPR, such as the prior, informed and unequivocal consent of the owner and the ARCO Rights (access, rectification, cancellation, opposition) and the right to portability. Even as a novelty, our legislation establishes five working days as a term for the modification of data that are erroneous, inaccurate, misleading or incomplete.

Meanwhile, the collection of information through internet platforms and digital media should present the obligations that are found in the law through privacy policies and / or accessible service conditions written in a clear and simple language.

Among the lawful purposes of the transfer of personal data we can list: that you have the consent of the owner, which is provided by law or treaties that the Republic of Panama is a party of, that is necessary for the recognition, exercise or defense of a right in a judicial process, among others.

This law also creates a Personal Data Protection Council conformed by the Minister of Commerce and Industry, the General Administrator of ACODECO, the General Director of ANTAI, the Ombudsman, a representative of National Council of the Private Enterprise, a representative of the National Association of Lawyers, a representative of the Banking Association of Panama, a representative of the Electoral Tribunal and a representative of the Chamber of Commerce who will have the faculties to evaluate consultations, provide recommendations, recommend public policies and develop their internal regulations.

In the particular case of the National Authority of Transparency and Access to Information, said authority becomes a watchdog and regulator on the subject of protection of personal data; being, even, competent to sanction the person in charge of an infraction of the rights of the holder of the personal data with amounts from one thousand dollars up to ten thousand balboas depending on the gravity of the faults.

With the enactment of this legislation, Panama, complies with legislative work that was pending and adopts its regulations to a reality where personal data are becoming increasingly relevant.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.