Law enacted for protection of personal data

April 18, 2019
Law enacted for protection of personal data

The new data protection law will enter into force in 2 years and be applicable to personal data originating in Panama

The new Panama Data Protection Law (Law 81/2019) has been signed into law by the President 4 months after being approved by the legislature and will be in force as of the 29 March 2020 ("Panama DPL").

The Panama DPL is governed by the principles of loyalty, Purpose limitation, data minimisation, accuracy, integrity, transparency, confidentiality, lawfulness, and portability. The user must be informed of all rights including the availability of ARCO rights (rights to Access, Cancel, Modify and Oppose).

Exceptions to the Panama DPL is treatment of data :
1. Carried out by an individual for exclusively personal activities.
2. Carried out by competent authorities for law enforcement.
3. Carried out for financial intelligence and national security under international conventions.
4. Performed under international conventions.
5. Resulting from dissociation or anonymity of personal data.

The provisions of the law are applicable to storage of data of foreigners or nationals carried out in the territory of Panama. Transborder storage elsewhere of data originating in Panama must comply with standards of the Panama DPL unless consent of the data owner is granted, or storage is performed pursuant to an agreement for the benefit of the data owner, a securities transaction or an international convention.

Custodians of data bases transferring personal data to third parties should maintain a registry available for inspection by National Transparency Authority (ANTAI). ANTAI is the primary entity in charge of imposing fines of up to $10,000 on persons responsible for data breaches and custodians. The person liable for the faulty treatment of data must indemnify for the monetary and moral damages caused, upon filing of a lawsuit before local courts.

Alvaro Aguilar-Alfu, partner at Lombardi Aguilar Group, stated that the Panama DPL “should be examined by business owners worldwide who use Panama entities in order to build safeguards when handling data from Panama origin. Many Panama entities are used by foreigners to operate ships worldwide in the international merchant marine or for IT applications such as e-commerce and data warehousing”. Mr Aguilar is founding member of the Panamanian Association of Law and New Technologies (APANDETEC) which was the main non-governmentmental organization advising the government in the drafting of the Panama DPL. He is a graduate of Universidad Santa Maria la Antigua (LLB) and Washington College of Law at The American University (LLM), having 20 years of business law experience on behalf of local, European and U.S. companies doing business in Latin America.

For more information or the full text of Panama DPL, contact +507 340-6444, e-mail aaguilar (at), or see: Lombardi Aguilar Group

About Lombardi Aguilar Group
Lombardi Aguilar Group was created as an alternative for clients worldwide who seek fast, innovative and effective solutions to their legal problems. The firm currently provides services to individual and corporate clients in Panama as well in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Its partners maintain a commitment with professional ethics and social responsibility by participating in the board of directors of groups such as the Panama Bar Association, the German and the American Chambers of Commerce (Amcham Panama ) of Panama, and the Association of Chinese-Panamanian Professionals (Asociación de Profesionales Chino Panameña (APROCHIPA) , as well as members of the the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners ( STEP ). The firm is member of the PraeLegal Technical Team global network of 242 independently-owned law firms in 141 countries

The firm centers its law practice in private client services and asset protection (Private Interest Foundations, Trusts), business structures (Offshore Corporations), tax planning, real estate and e-commerce. It also advices in areas of Law such as Corporate, Commercial, Intellectual Property, Maritime, Tax, and Immigration Law as well as related litigation that may arise.

This release has been prepared for information purposes only. It is not intended to be nor do they constitute legal advice, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

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