Argentina Privacy Changes Should Aid Multinationals

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By David Haskel

Argentina’s privacy regime update should make life easier for companies with better options for the legal transfer personal data out of the country.

U.S. companies and multinationals doing business in Argentina may find a more business friendly environment to transfer personal data out of the country, privacy analysts told Bloomberg BNA.

The recent issuance of model contract clauses that can be included by companies in contracts involving the international transfer of personal data is a good example, analysts said. The new clauses are aimed at simplifying and expediting the flow of corporate data with overseas companies seeking to outsource online functions and services.

The Argentine government “has decided to open up to the world” on data protection issues, Pablo Palazzi, a privacy and security partner at Allende & Breap in Buenos Aires told Bloomberg BNA.

Daniel Monastersky, an internet attorney, agreed. “We have lagged behind for too long in Argentina” on data protection issues, he told Bloomberg BNA. “We are now starting to catch up,” said the analyst, who is a member of the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise’s advisory council.

Argentina is one of the only a handful of countries with data protection legal regimes that the European Union has certified as adequate to protect the privacy of personal data transferred out of the EU. This has helped Argentina win contracts from foreign companies seeking to cut costs by oversea handling of business services, such as customer support and telemarketing, and back office functions, such as billing, accounting and human resources support.

Although the European Commission granted Argentina privacy adequacy status in 2003, a combination of a perceived lack of enforcement and a series of governments considered to be less business friendly have left some multinationals less eager to do business in the country, analysts said.

Following EU Model

The changes that are now being implemented include contract provisions issued by Argentina’s privacy office that companies seeking to engage in international data transfer deals may use to be in compliance with the country’s privacy law.

Companies seeking to use different contract data protection provisions must obtain privacy office approval.

The model follows EU guidelines, which should make life a lot simpler for businesses, analysts said.

“Having a definite set of contract clauses means that simply by filling out a form, you know that you are within the parameters of legal requirements,” Palazzi said.

Following EU guidelines not only simplifies dealing with European businesses, but with prospective U.S. partners as well. U.S. citizens “are familiar with the EU requirements,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Haskel in Santiago at correspondents@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald Aplin at daplin@bna.com

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