Data Protection Law

New Data Protection Law in Panama

A Data Protection Law was enacted in Panama by means of Law No. 81 of March 26, 2019, establishing the conditions for the use, protection and transference of personal data and the creation of a Personal Data Protection Council.

Regarding the use of any personal data, the Law establishes that it is mandatory to have the consent of its owner, that its use be necessary for the execution of a contract of which the owner is a party, that its use is necessary for a legal obligation or that its use is authorized by a special law. The owner’s consent can be given electronically and can be revoked.

The sharing of such data to third parties will be lawful if it complies with at least one of the conditions established on article 33 of the Law and should be executed through a registry, which must meet certain formalities. Additionally, any data transference must be requested and documented stating the identity of the new person responsible of the information and the notification to the owners of the persona data, among other aspects.

Lastly, the Law creates the Personal Data Protection Council to advise the National Authority of Transparency and Access of Information, to recommend public policies and make recommendations on cases presented to them. Both entities are empowered to sanction those responsible using personal data in violation the rights of its owner. This sanction can start at $1,000 up to $10,000, depending on each case.

The objective of this law is to establish the rights, obligations and procedures that regulate the protection of personal data, understanding that, any natural o legal person can make use of personal data, as long as it done in compliance with the Law, respecting the enforcement of the fundamental rights of the owners of the personal data.

This Law was enacted in the Official Gazette No. 28743-A of March 29, 2019 and goes into force and effect two (2) years from such enactment.

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