Press release of the Brazilian “Supremo Tribunal Federal”, whereby provisional measure 954/2020 is temporarily suspended.

Minister Rosa Weber, from the Brazilian “Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF)”, suspended the effectiveness of Provisional Measure (MP) 954/2020, which establishes the exchange of user data by telecommunication service providers with the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), to support the official statistical production during the new coronavirus pandemic.

The MP obliges fixed and mobile telephone companies to make available to the IBGE Foundation a list of the names, telephone numbers and addresses of their consumers, natural or legal persons. The shared data, according to the text, will be used for the production of official statistics through non-presential home interviews.

In the preliminary analysis of the actions, the minister pointed out that the MP does not provide for any requirement of mechanisms and procedures to guarantee the confidentiality, hygiene and anonymity of the shared data, which does not comply with the requirements established in the Constitution for the effective protection of the fundamental rights of Brazilians. Likewise, the MP violates the provisions of the Federal Constitution that ensure the dignity of the human person, the inviolability of privacy, the private life, the honor and image of people, and the confidentiality of data, among other arguments.

The Minister emphasized that there is no legitimate public interest in sharing the personal data of telephone service users and that the standard does not provide conditions for assessing their suitability and necessity, since it does not define the form and purpose of using the data.

Finally, he recognized that the seriousness and urgency of the current health crisis is not underestimated, nor the need to formulate public policies that require specific data to address the new coronavirus. However, he assessed that fighting the pandemic cannot legitimize “the trampling of the fundamental guarantees enshrined in the Constitution”.

Thus, Minister Rosa Weber postponed the precautionary measure, “to avoid irreparable damage to the privacy and confidentiality of the privacy of more than one hundred million users of fixed and mobile telephone services,” and determined that the IBGE should refrain from requesting the data provided in the MP and, if it has already requested such information, suspend that request, with immediate communication to the telephone operators.

Supremo Tribunal Federal, Medida Cautelar

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