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Brazil’s ANPD Launches Public Consultation on the Processing of Minors’ Personal Data

On September 8, 2022, the Brazilian Data Protection Authority (“ANPD”) launched a public consultation on the processing of minors’ personal data (encompassing children under 12-years-old and adolescents between the ages of 12- and 18-years-old).  The consultation will conclude on October 7, 2022.  According to the ANPD, the purpose of the consultation is to resolve divergent interpretations among public authorities, academics, privacy professionals, and representatives of civil society regarding the Brazilian Data Protection Law’s (“LGPD”) provision on the processing of minors’ personal data (Article 14).  The Authority will use the feedback it receives to draw up guidelines on the topic and, possibly, amend the LGPD.

The consultation is informed by a “preliminary study” prepared and published by the ANPD that examines the following three most common interpretations of Article 14 of the LGPD that the abovementioned stakeholders have put forth:

  1. that processing the personal data of children under 12-years-old will always require the consent of a parent or legal guardian;
  2. that processing children’s and adolescents’ personal data must comply with the LGPD’s requirements for processing “sensitive” data to the extent that it meets that definition – i.e., personal data concerning racial or ethnic origin, religious conviction, political opinion, membership of a trade union or of a religious, philosophical or political organization, data concerning health or sex life, genetic or biometric data when linked to a natural person; and
  3. that any processing of children’s and adolescents’ personal data must always be carried out in a manner that takes into account their best interests.

The ANPD’s study discusses the pros and cons of each of these interpretations, but ultimately concludes that the third option is the most appropriate interpretation of the LGPD.  As a result, the Authority proposes to amend Article 14 of the LGPD by adding the following draft language:

The processing of personal data of children and adolescents may be carried out pursuant to the legal bases [listed] in Article 7 or, in the case of sensitive data, [the legal bases listed] in Article 11 of the General Law of Data Protection (‘LGPD’), provided that their best interest is taken into account, which needs to be assessed in each concrete case, in accordance with Article 14 of the LGPD.

However, the Authority has not yet taken a final decision on this matter and invites anyone interested to contribute to the consultation via this platform.

The ANPD’s consultation follows from a long line of recent regulatory and legislative developments around children’s privacy worldwide, including, by way of example, the United Kingdom’s Age Appropriate Design Code in September 2021 (see our blog posts here and here), Ireland’s Fundamentals for A Child-Oriented Approach to Data Processing in December 2021 (see our blog posts here and here), as well as California’s recently enacted Age-Appropriate Design Code Act. 

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Covington is continually monitoring these developments and is happy to assist organizations in assessing their compliance with the requirements set out in these frameworks. 

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