Ruled Law Initiative that Seeks to Constitutionally Raise Data Protection in Costa Rica

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    The bill that seeks to constitutionally raise data protection has already been ruled by the Special Commission for the Reform of Article 24 of the Political Constitution. After this step, the project is transferred to the Plenary to be studied and approved by the deputies. The objective pursued with this reform, in addition to including data protection as a fundamental right in the highest hierarchy rule of the legal system, is to modify the concept of intimacy by that of private life.

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    With this project, Article 24 of the Political Constitution would read as follows: “The right to privacy, protection of personal data, freedom and secrecy of communications is guaranteed. By means of a special law, limitations to these rights may be adopted to safeguard national security, public security, the protection of public health, the protection of the rights and freedoms of third parties, as well as for matters of public interest”.

    What will this law determine?

    With this initiative, the law will determine in which cases the Courts of Justice may order the intervention of any type of communication and will indicate the crimes in whose investigation the use of this exceptional power may be authorized and for how long. It will indicate the responsibilities and sanctions that officials who illegally apply this exception will incur. Judicial resolutions covered by this rule must be reasoned and may be executed immediately.

    Its application and control will be the non-delegable responsibility of the judicial authority. It adds that the deputies will set the cases in which the Public Administration officials may review documents or access personal data that the law indicates and will also indicate in which cases review proceeds.

    Data of violated citizens

    On August 21st, the criminal lawyers Rubén Hernández and Mauricio París, agreed on the ‘NuestraVoz’ program that currently the information of Costa Ricans continues to be violated, so it is necessary to advance from Congress with initiatives that shield and make proper use of citizen data. Precisely, part of the genesis of this bill was the Presidential Data Analysis Unit (UPAD).

    Later, the experts pointed out that in the face of the messages from the National Radio and Television System (Sinart) sent to kölbi users to see the rendering of accounts of the 100 days of President Rodrigo Chaves, they urged progress with this constitutional reform of data protection. “This initiative comes to consolidate with a modern wording and with the best international instruments on human rights the issue of the right to informational self-determination and then the comprehensive reform that has to be made to the current legislation that is obsolete and is not up to date with the more advanced instruments”, said lawyer Hernández.

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