Latin America Advisor

A Daily Publication of The Dialogue

Will Panama’s Data Protection Law Become a Model?

A photograph, in color, of information database storage. Panama’s data protection law took effect last month, two years after it won legislative approval. // File Photo: Imgix via Unsplash.

Panama’s data privacy law took effect on March 29. The law requires processors of data to obtain their subjects’ prior consent and must define the purpose for collection of data. Collectors of data are also required to take actions to keep data secure. What are the most significant parts of the law, and how adequate will it be to keep consumers’ data secure? How do Panama’s data privacy rules compare to such laws in other countries, and should legislators elsewhere use it as a model for their own data privacy efforts? What are the most important ramifications of the law for businesses in Panama?


Raúl Echeberría, executive director of the Latin American Internet Association (ALAI): “Panama’s data protection law closely follows the GDPR model, but it has some key provisions that deviate from it, and that might have an impact on how the law is interpreted and implemented. For instance, the law includes, besides consent, four additional bases of legitimation for the treatment of personal data, following the GDPR expansion of such legal basis. However, legitimate Interest, which is indeed included as a legal basis in the GDPR and deemed as a flexible tool that is closely related to accountability, is included in this law as an exception to consent, and not as an autonomous legal basis. With regard to the impact of Act 81 on businesses, this law has the potential to promote innovation and development in the digital economy. This now depends more on…”

Read More

Top News

Complete editions of the Latin America Advisor are delivered every business day to members of the Dialogue's Corporate Program and other subscribers. Sign up below for a complimentary preview subscription.

Free Preview

About the Latin America Advisor

The Inter-American Dialogue publishes the Latin America Advisor every business day for a distinguished membership of informed corporate leaders, scholars, and government officials invested in Latin America’s development and future. The Advisor‘s highly regarded Q&A section covers questions submitted by subscribers themselves. Commentators regularly include heads of state, business leaders, diplomats, economists, analysts, and thought leaders from around the world. Many of the world’s largest and fastest-growing companies subscribe to the Advisor. To subscribe click here or for more information, contact Erik Brand, publisher of the Advisor, at

Subscribers See all


Erik Brand

P. 202.463.2932

Gene Kuleta

P. 202.463.2920

Anastasia Chacón González

Reporter & Associate Editor
P. 202.463.2562

Diana Roy

Editorial Intern