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Right now, legislators in Panama are rushing to pass a hastily written data protection bill that was drafted without input from civil society and that fails to effectively protect users’ rights.
The bill was drafted by the executive branch, and members of the National Legislative Assembly are under pressure to get it passed before their session ends later this month. Since the bill was first sent to an Assembly commission in August, there has been a complete lack of transparency regarding its contents and the legislative proceedings moving it forward.
And the problem certainly is not that Panama doesn’t know how to do this right. Through a widely inclusive open consultation starting in 2016, civil society, academics, private sector actors, and legislators all worked together to draft a comprehensive data protection bill consistent with the principles of the EU’s GDPR. But that bill was revoked in January of this year due to, among other issues, the executive’s concern over the resources required for its implementation.
Panama’s National Legislative Assembly could vote at any moment to pass this messy new data protection bill that does not properly put people in control of their own data.
Join us now in calling on Panamanian legislators to vote NO on this bill, and to initiate an open process that enables effective participation by civil society and other stakeholders to ensure a rights-respecting data protection law for Panama.
Read more here to learn about why data protection is so important, and how we can work together to achieve rights-respecting laws around the world.