Personal Data Protection

Since 1996, the OAS, through its bodies has addressed the issue of personal data protection. On the one hand, the General Assembly (GA) of the OAS has been approving resolutions on the subject, calling on Member States to take certain actions and occasionally conferring specific mandates to other bodies of the Organization.

The issue has also been on the agenda of the Inter-American Juridical Committee (CJI), which in 2000 presented its document "The Right to Information: Access and Protection of Information and Personal Data in Electronic Format." Since then, the CJI has continued to work in this area, adopting a series of documents. In particular, in 2012 the CJI approved a “Proposed Declaration of Principles of Privacy and Protection of Personal Data in the Americas”, in 2015 the “Legislative Guide on Privacy and Data Protection Personal in the Americas”, and in 2021 the “Updated Principles on Privacy and Protection of Personal Data, with Annotations”, seeking to contribute to the development of a framework to safeguard, in the countries of the Americas, the rights of individuals to the protection of their personal data and to self-determination regarding information.

These 13 Updated Principles, approved by the General Assembly in 2021 as well, aim to identify the basic elements of effective protection and, as an instrument of Inter-American soft law, to serve Member States as a point of reference to strengthen their own legal frameworks on the subject and steer the region’s collective development towards a harmonious protection of personal data.

Finally, the General Secretariat, through the Department of International Law provides advice and support to the political bodies and Member States regarding the different resolutions and documents adopted by the OAS and in its capacity as Technical Secretariat of the CJI, has supported the rapporteurs on the topic in the preparation of the aforementioned documents.

We invite you to view on this page the different documents produced by the OAS bodies on this topic – all of them available free of charge. .