Recent amendments to Brazil's pioneer bill of rights for Internet users, the “Marco Civil da Internet” (Internet Civil Rights Framework), put net neutrality and users’ privacy at stake. The bill is expected to be voted on by Congress during the last week of February 2014.
Activists have launched an online campaign asking for the removal of one of the new provisions, Article 16, that mandates service providers to store personal data of their users. The hashtag in use is #16igualNSA (“Article 16 leans towards NSA surveillance”).
Joana Varon, a Brazilian researcher from the Center for Technology and Society at Fundação Getúlio Vargas, points to an article on the PrivacyLatam blog as the “most accurate post in English regarding changes on #privacy protection at #marcocivil“:
This measure not only contradicts all previous versions of the Bill (which is a work in progress started by a draft generated by a public consultation in 2010). It establishes an unprecedented duty to all “for profit” Brazilian Internet players who run a site or service to keep private information of their users for 6 months, regardless of any consideration about their users’ consent.
Even if the Bill mention protection measures for the data owners, it is clear that the simple fact of the existence of the mandatory personal data register is, ‘per se’, a danger that users cannot avoid since their free consent would be not taken into account. Moreover, the lack of a general framework for personal data protection makes the whole environment at least very prone to the misuse of personal information.
The Brazilian Institute for Consumer Rights (Idec) created an online petition [pt] asking for “neutrality, privacy and freedom of expression in Marco Civil”. The platform allows sending letters to the Members of Parliament.