Personal Data Protection: Balance between privacy and freedom of information

The importance of and need for protection of citizens' private information were highlighted in the International Personal Data Protection Seminar, held this Tuesday, with the presence of experts from Spain, Peru, Uruguay and Ecuador

The event was organised by Ecuador's Transparency and Social Control Function (FTCS), along with the European Union's EUROsociAL Programme, through the Economic and Technological Development Distance Learning Centre Foundation (CEDDET). The speakers included prominent experts such as: Jesús Rubí Navarrete (Spain), José Álvaro Quiroga (Peru), Marcelo Bauzá (Uruguay), and Christian Bahamonde (Ecuador).

With over 300 attendees, the FTCS President and Superintendent of Information and Communication (SUPERCOM), Carlos Ochoa, opened the event which was held in the auditorium of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO).

He highlighted the right to protection of data of a personal nature, guaranteed in article 66.19 of Ecuador's current Constitution, which indicates that collection, processing and distribution of this type of information require the authorisation of the owner or a legal mandate.

“In practice, very little has been done to implement this right, which is guaranteed through the existence of clear rules for the management of personal data”, stated Ochoa, who added that citizens should empower themselves on this issue and demand compliance by the State, “above and beyond any one government”.

Peter Schwaiger, the European Union Ambassador to Ecuador, highlighted the importance of protecting data “so that the individual is not subjugated by indiscriminate use”, while at the same time there is a need to “find a balance in its use for the country's social development, whether this be at a public or private level”.

The keynote speech was delivered by Marcelo Bauzá, a Uruguayan expert, who addressed the importance of this fundamental right.

“Social life has turned into a complex and continuous flow of data at the mercy of electronic power (...). A balance must be sought between protection of data and freedom of expression (...). The concept of ‘privacy’ was developed in Europe and has expanded in America”, explained the EUROsociAL consultant.

Source: Transparency and Social Control Function Government of Ecuador

Función de Transparencia y Control Social (FTCS), Ecuador