Techno-Authoritarianism Retrospective 2020

The report by LAUT and Data Privacy Brasil highlights cases in which an increase in the government data processing powers can damage the country’s young democracy



Techno-Authoritarianism Retrospective 2020

The Center for Analysis of Freedom and Authoritarianism (LAUT) and Data Privacy Brasil Research Association have released an English translation of the “Techno-Authoritarianism Retrospective 2020“. The report looks into governmental actions based on increased personal data processing capabilities that may pose some kind of threat to Brazilians fundamental rights and describes thirteen problematic cases that deserve a bigger public attention. 

Some of these cases, it’s important to mention, have been judicialized in Brazilian courts.

To make the selection, LAUT and Data Privacy made a thorough analysis of noteworthy cases regarding the use of personal data by Brazil’s federal government and took in consideration three factors: governmental action; creation and/or sharing of databases; and potential threats to fundamental rights.

Cases such as the production of files on anti-fascist police officers by the Ministry of Justice or unregulared access of driver’s license biometric data by the Brazilian Inteliigence Agency made the cut. According to the report, these are “worrying incidents” and “indicate a scenario in which the expansion of state power is increasingly rooted in the use of cutting-edge information communication technologies”.

It’s no wonder that Brazilian civil society and Judiciary Power have strongly reacted against some of these cases – sometimes using the new Brazilian Data Protection Law, LGPD. The Retrospectiva also paints a clear picture of this resistance and shows how it stood against official measures, such as when the federal government tried to get it’s hands on the data of telecom’s millions of clients for census purposes, and extra official ones, such as the aforementioned files on anti-fascist police officers.

The report is a product of a joint research by Data Privacy Brasil and LAUT that aims to understand how techno-authoritarianism is establishing itself in Brazil and what can be done to stop this. This is an ongoing project.

Download Techno Authoritarianism Retrospective 2020 in English.