For law firms and other businesses, keeping up and complying with the latest laws can be a complex challenge. The data privacy landscape is continuously evolving as more nations and regions expand the standards and regulations that protect their citizens. Along with these expansive requirements come strong repercussions for non-compliance, so it’s important to know what you need to do to be on the right side of the law.

In this article, you’ll get a look into the newest global standard in data privacy: Brazil’s General Data Protection Law, known as LGPD, which came into force in August 2020. You’ll learn what it is and how it compares to similar data privacy laws, as well as the technology implications for law firms and other corporations in Brazil and around the globe.

What is LGPD?

LGPD stands for the Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados Pessoais, or General Data Protection Law, for Brazil.

Like other data privacy laws before it, the LGPD outlines how to legally collect, process, handle, secure, and destroy personal data. The LGPD also grants nine fundamental rights that give data subjects greater control over their data and how it’s used, and defines set penalties for law violations.

Previously, Brazil operated with over 40 different personal data statutes, which are now simplified and unified in a single legal framework in the LGPD.

How does it compare to previous data privacy laws like GDPR?

When the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, came into effect in May 2016, it had a global impact. Because the law covers the personal data of all EU citizens and residents, any company that processes such data is also subject to the law — regardless of whether they’re based in the EU or not. (Although the precise boundaries are admittedly fuzzy.)

The same policy holds true for the LGPD: Any business or organization that processes the personal data of people in Brazil is subject to the regulations of the LGPD.

Of course, the LGPD has its own unique guidelines, requirements, and penalties compared with preceding data privacy laws. But fortunately, if your organization has previously done the work to become GDPR compliant, you are well-positioned to become LGPD compliant as well.

Check out our quick-read guide to LGPD compliance.

The LGPD, Technology, and You

Law firms and other organizations that handle personal data for Brazilian citizens or residents must be LGPD compliant. This has significant implications for the technology tools they rely on to do legal work, including practice management software, billing solutions, and document management (DMS) platforms.

Any platform you use to process personal data must be compliant with LGPD. Otherwise, you risk facing legal action and fines, not to mention the loss of reputation that comes if data is mishandled or hacked.

On the other hand, being compliant with all relevant data protection laws, including LGPD, can be a great boon for your business and build your reputation as a trusted service provider. Clients who feel they can trust your firm are more likely to stay clients and refer future business.

To protect yourself, and your clients, ensure that all the technology partners you depend on are LGPD compliant.

Stay Ahead of LGPD — and Future Regulations

The reality is, data privacy laws will continue to evolve in coming years, and they are likely to become even more stringent. Staying on top of all the various changing requirements is an enormous task.

But you don’t have to do it alone.

NetDocuments Makes LGPD Compliance Easy

NetDocuments is committed to helping our customers stay secure and compliant with all relevant data privacy laws as they arise, including LGPD.

Our cloud-based document and email management platform offers industry-leading security, pass-through compliance, and up-to-date protection from emerging threats, so you can be confident that your documents and data are always safe and compliant. It’s just one way we help you spend less time stressing and more time focused on inspired work.

Check out our comprehensive LGPD guide to learn more.