Telefónica Brasil targeted in Brazilian data-protection lawsuit

1 August 2019 4:07pm

31 July 2019, by Rodrigo Russo

Telecom operator Telefónica Brasil, which operates under the brand Vivo, is facing a data-protection lawsuit in Brazil, according to documents seen by MLex. Prosecutors in the Federal District have asked a court to urgently prohibit the company from commercializing a geolocation product and to order it to produce a data-protection impact assessment.

The lawsuit was filed on 30 July 2019. A team of prosecutors, led by Frederico Meinberg Ceroy, had been investigating the company's allegedly illegal use and handling of personal data of its clients for advertising via a service called Vivo Ads.

Vivo Ads is a product that promises ads that utilize the data of telecom users, such as personal profile, geolocation, navigation history, places visited and consumer behavior. Telefónica says it is the biggest digital media vehicle in the country.

During investigations, Telefónica refused to submit a data-protection impact assessment. In the court filing, Ceroy said that "its refusal makes one believe that the company is mishandling clients' personal data".

The requests have yet to be analyzed by an entry-court level in the Federal District.

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