Brazil issues fine of 1.2 million euros under new Internet privacy law


Brazilian telecoms provider Oi has been fined 3.5 million reals (€1.2 million) for recording and selling its subscriber browser data, law firm Reed Smith reports. The fine, issued by the Brazilian Department of Consumer Protection and Defence ('DPDC'), is the first enforcement action under the country’s new Internet law (Marco Civil da Internet).

According to Reed Smith lawyers, the DPDC investigated allegations that Oi had entered into an agreement with online advertising firm Phorm Inc. to develop an Internet activity monitoring program which was used to collect the browsing data of Oi's broadband customers. Oi sold this data to behavioural advertising companies without having obtained the consent of its customers.

When determining the amount of the fine, the DPDC took into account the economic benefit to Oi, its financial condition, and the serious nature of the offence. The fine was issued after Oi suspended its use of the Internet activity monitoring software.

The fine was issued in July. See an unofficial English translation of the ‘Marco Civil da Internet’.