Data Protection in the BRICS Countries: Enhanced Cooperation and Convergence towards Legal Interoperability

By Luca Belli

This paper stems from the research elaborated by CyberBRICS project, which is the first attempt to produce comparative analyses of digital policies in the BRICS countries – namely, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The project is hosted by Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) Law School, Rio de Janeiro, and developed in partnership with key academic partners in the BRICS area, and has three main objectives: 1) to map existing policies and regulations; 2) to identify good practices; and 3) to develop policy recommendations. This paper focuses on the ongoing development and increasing rapprochement of BRICS data protection frameworks. It highlights that the grouping can be considered as an example of enhanced cooperation on Internet governance and stresses the existence of a tendency towards convergence and legal interoperability of several aspects of their data protection policies. Lastly, it argues that BRICS should seize the opportunity to further enhance their cooperation on data protection, as the increased convergence and compatibility of their data protection frameworks may be beneficial for both individuals and businesses, implementing the BRICS Roadmap of Practical Cooperation on Ensuring Security in the Use of ICTs, and providing a useful opportunity to test for the new BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Architecture. 

NON-FINAL DRAFT submitted in May 2020 to the Chinese Academy of Cyberspace Studies as a contribution to the 2020 World Internet Conference outcome publications. Please contact the author for a final version (to be published in Chinese and English).

This paper is the first part of a twoflod work to be completed by the upcoming BRICS Data Protection Good Practices, elaborated by Professor Luca Belli and Professor Danilo Doneda.