The Agency of Access to Public Information established a procedure to reconcile the right of access to public information with the protection of personal data.
Section 19 of Law No. 27,275 on Access to Public Information (the “Access to Public Information Law”) created the Agency of Access to Public Information (the “Agency”) as its controlling authority. The Agency was instituted as an independent entity that operates with functional autonomy within the President’s Chief of Staff Office.
In addition, Emergency Decree No. 746/2017 and Decree No. 899/2017 named the Agency as the controlling authority of Data Protection Law No. 25,326 (the “Data Protection Law”), in replacement of the Argentine Directorate of Data Protection (the “Directorate”) (more information here).
In this context, the Agency recently issued Resolution No. 5-E/2018, which aims to establish a procedure to harmonize the right of access to public information with the protection of personal data.
The Resolution emphasizes the existence of control agencies in other countries which oversee both access to public information and personal data protection. In addition, it refers to the general principle under which all of the public agencies’ information is presumed public unless it falls within an exception, such as the protection of personal data. Furthermore, it stated the need to institute a mechanism which allows the resolution of any conflicts that may arise based on proportionality criteria.
Consequently, the Resolution established as mandatory internal procedures within the Agency: i) that the Argentine Directorate of Data Protection must intervene and issue a report on any claims based on the Access to Public Information Law which may affect personal data; and ii) that the Argentine Directorate of Access to Information must intervene and issue a report in any proceedings regarding the Data Protection Law which may constitute requests for access to public information.
Lastly, the Resolution provides that, in the event of a total or partial discrepancy between these reports, the Director of the Agency will resolve the matter and explain the motives underlying the decision.