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Brazilian Government regulates digital platforms’ responsibility to protect children and adolescents’ rights

April 12th, 2024

The National Council for the Rights of Children and Adolescents (Conselho Nacional dos Direitos da Criança e do Adolescente – “CONANDA”, in Portuguese), which is a branch of the Brazilian Ministry of Human Rights and Citizenship (“MDHC”), has published Resolution No. 245/2024, which addresses the rights of children and adolescents in the digital environment.

To guarantee and enforce such rights, the resolution provides several duties and responsibilities for digital service providers. Among the key provisions, it is worth highlighting:

  • Freedom of speech within the digital environment: Rights to freedom of speech and access to information must be preserved, although restrictions can be imposed to protect the minors’ best interests, within the limits of lawfulness, necessity, and proportionality.
  • Right to privacy and data protection within the digital environment: the privacy and protection of children’s and adolescents’ data must be preserved within the digital environment within the digital environment, with only strictly necessary data bring collected, thus ensuring that children’s and adolescents’ data is treated as sensitive data.
  • Prohibition of commercial use of data: Children and adolescents’ data must not be used for commercial purposes, such as targeting advertising or creating profiles of behavior or consumption, as regulated by CONANDA Resolution No. 163 of March 13, 2014.
  • Surveillance and monitoring: Digital surveillance/monitoring functions for children and adolescents must not be used indiscriminately and unjustifiably, and less invasive alternatives should be prioritized, respecting minor’s right to privacy.
  • Duty to prevent: Companies that provide digital products and services must prioritize the protection and enforcement of the rights of children and adolescents, including through swift action and effective accountability for any abuses and illegal practices within the scope of their services, even if practiced by third parties, as well as mitigating any risks arising from the functionalities of the services.
  • Age verification: Effective age verification mechanisms in digital services and environments available to children and adolescents must be provided to prevent minors’ from accessing platforms, products, services and content that are illegal or incompatible with their age.
  • Content moderation: Companies must provide resources for the moderation and control of illegal or inappropriate content for children and adolescents, including those published by influencers, streamers, and gamers, which must be quickly pulled from the respective platform, ensuring the right to appeal and review of such moderation through channel provided by the platforms.
  • Annual reports: Companies must publish, at least annually, reports detailing:
    • transparency regarding the services operation, data collected, and the governance measures adopted;
    • a risk assessment of the rights and best interests of children and adolescents; and
    • an independent audit assessing the services’ compliance with the legislation.

The resolution also determines that the MDHC and CONANDA must draft, within 90 days counted from the resolution’s publication, a national policy aimed at protecting the rights of children and adolescents within the digital environment. This policy must include joint, integrated and multisectoral actions to:

  • prevent and eliminate all types of violence, abuse, and exploitation of children and adolescents within the digital environment;
  • stimulate the balanced and upstanding use of digital equipment;
  • foster the culture of data protection; and
  • spread information regarding users’ rights and internet safety for children and adolescents.

Demarest Advogados’ Telecommunications, Media, and Technology (TMT) and Business Consumer teams are closely monitoring the development of the matter and remains available to provide any clarifications.