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Brazilian Federal Supreme Court suspends data sharing of telephone users with the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics

05/07/2020

The Plenary of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF), in a session held by video conference and broadcast live by TV Justiça, suspended the effectiveness of Provisional Measure (MP) 954/2020, which provides for the sharing of data from telecommunications users with the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) for the production of official statistics during the pandemic of the new coronavirus. By majority vote, in a session held by videoconference on Thursday (7), Justice Rosa Weber granted precautionary measures in five Direct Unconstitutionality Actions (ADIs) to firm the understanding that the sharing provided for in the MP violates the constitutional right to privacy, private life and data confidentiality.

The lawsuits were filed by the Federal Council of the Brazilian Bar Association - OAB (ADI 6387), the Brazilian Social Democracy Party - PSDB (ADI 6388), the Brazilian Socialist Party - PSB (ADI 6389), the Socialism and Freedom Party - PSOL (ADI 6390) and the Communist Party of Brazil (ADI 6393). Among other arguments, they allege that the MP, by obliging landline and mobile telephone companies to make available to IBGE the list of names, telephone numbers and addresses of their consumers, individuals or companies, violates the provisions of the Federal Constitution that ensure the dignity of the human person, the inviolability of intimacy, private life, honor and image of people and the confidentiality of data.

Fundamental guarantees

The trial began on Wednesday (6), when the rapporteur reiterated the reasons for granting the injunctions. According to the Justice, although one cannot underestimate the seriousness of the health crisis or the need to formulate public policies that require specific data to confront it, in combating the pandemic, "the violation of fundamental guarantees enshrined in the Constitution" cannot be legitimized.

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