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Personal Data Protection - April 2015

The Inter-American Juridical Committee adopts report on personal data protection by consensus

During its 86th regular session, held at its headquarters in Río de Janeiro, Brazil, from March 23-27, 2015, the Inter-American Juridical Committee adopted, by consensus, the report on "Personal Data Protection," prepared by Dr. David P. Stewart, the Rapporteur for access to public information and personal data protection.

The Inter-American Juridical Committee adopts report on personal data protection by consensus

This report was written in response to a request to the CJI by the OAS General Assembly in June 2014, when, in resolution AG/RES. 2811 [XLIII-O/13], it instructed the Inter-American Juridical Committee to prepare proposals for the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs on the different ways in which the protection of personal data can be regulated, including a draft model law on personal data protection, taking into account international standards in that area.

The report adopted by the CJI and presented to the OAS Permanent Council on March 31, 2015, is the product of consultation with experts and others involved in formulating principles and practices in this field, including some working in a European Union context and with other regional groups, as well as with representatives of governmental, academic, business, and nongovernmental institutions.

Mindful that personal privacy and data protection continues to be a field subject to rapid technological advances and constantly evolving threats to privacy; and bearing in mind the different approaches adopted in different parts of the world in response to those changes and threats, and the apparent lack in our region of a uniform and coherent approach, the CJI considered that its most important contribution to the consolidation of a uniform legal framework was to tap the experience and achievements of the Americas and other regions and come up with a proposed framework that the States of the Americas might apply.

Based on a number of consultations, the Rapporteur concluded that the CJI's most productive option would be to prepare proposed legislative guidelines for the member states based on 12 principles previously espoused by the Committee (CJI/RES. 186 (LXXX-O/12)), with a few minor amendments, rather than an agreement on the exact details of the wording of a specific law. In this endeavor, the Committee benefited from some of the directives prepared by such organizations as the European Union, the OECD, and APEC, as well as from best practices and experiences in this field.

The CJI is the advisory body on juridical matters of the Organization of American States. Its principal function is to promote the progressive development and the codification of international law; to study juridical problems related to the integration of the developing countries of the Hemisphere; and to foster the attainment of uniformity in the legislation of the member states.

» Document CJI doc. 474 15 rev. 2

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