APPLICATION OF LAW 19.628 ON PROTECTION OF PRIVATE LIFE OF LEGAL PERSONS

Although the Law No. 19.628 on Protection of private life does not explicitly refer to its application with respect to legal entities, the truth is that, in their capacity as individuals, they deserve the same protection of their personal data and information as any natural person.

 By Daniela Necker

The Law No. 19.628 on Protection of private life regulates the treatment of personal data in registers or databases by public bodies or individuals. Although this law does not make particular reference to its application with respect to legal entities, the dilemma lies in the fact that there is a disparity of criteria regarding whether said legislation includes or excludes them from its regulation.

In effect, representatives of registration companies or data banks argue that in accordance with the provisions of article 2 letters f) and ñ) of Law No. 19.628, legal persons would be excluded from the scope of application and, therefore, of protection, since these letters only refer to natural persons.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, article 4 of Law No. 19.628, a general protective provision that indicates the strict circumstances under which a publication of information can be made, does not exclude legal persons from said protection, which is why which is possible to understand that these fit within the scope of its application.

Furthermore, there is no precept that excludes legal persons from the scope of protection of Law No. 19.628, so arguing otherwise would mean that these people are in an unfavorable situation regarding the protection of their rights and constitutional guarantees, thus establishing an arbitrary difference.

We recall that Article 19 No. 2 of the Political Constitution of the Republic establishes the constitutional guarantee of equality before the law. Thus, considering that Law No. 19.628 only protects natural persons, the legal entity would be being discriminated, in circumstances that both have the same status as a person and the same fundamental rights, deserving the same treatment and protection of your information.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, some legal entities have frequently been exposed to the publication of their personal data and sensitive commercial information without reason. In addition, registries and data banks have indiscriminately published sensitive commercial information, reaching the legal limit regarding what can be published without their authorization.

Thus, that these public registers and data banks can determine what information to publish, implies that these entities unduly arrogate the power to determine which debts deserve publicity, being treated as enforceable and unfulfilled, the mere declaration of the creditor being sufficient for it, without further rigor or declaration of legal certainty, which in some cases means the violation of fundamental constitutional guarantees such as honor, the prestige of legal persons and due process of law. Additionally, this has been provided as a means of collection pressure, escaping from the established jurisdictional means and duly regulatory by the Legal System.

Our Superior Courts of Justice, although in recent times they have had disparate criteria on the matter, in repeated rulings they have resolved that the data of legal entities are protected under Law No. 19.628, since these people cannot remain in a poor and defenseless situation, especially considering that their fundamental rights may be violated.

Finally, we are aware that there are alternatives and ways -such as the Protection Resource- to achieve that the registers and data banks eliminate the information published illegally, so that legal persons obtain the protection of their information and personal data.

At Palma Edwards Veszpremy we are aware of the problem and the lack of protection to which many companies may be exposed, which is why we are available to provide our clients with the tools to adequately safeguard their rights and personal data.