Costa Rica: Law on Protection of the Person Against the Processing of their Personal Data

« Back to Glossary Index

Costa Rica’s data privacy laws are primarily governed by the “Ley de Protección de la Persona Frente al Tratamiento de sus Datos Personales” or “Law on Protection of the Person Against the Processing of their Personal Data.” This law was passed in 2011 and updated in 2019 to align with international standards on data protection.

Under the law, personal data is defined as any information that can be used to identify an individual, such as a name, identification number, or contact information. The law applies to both private and public entities that collect, use, store, or process personal data, regardless of the industry or sector.

The law establishes several key principles that entities must follow when processing personal data, including:

  • Consent: Individuals must provide informed and voluntary consent for the collection and processing of their personal data.
  • Purpose limitation: Personal data must be collected and processed only for specific, legitimate, and clearly stated purposes.
  • Data quality: Personal data must be accurate, complete, and up-to-date.
  • Security measures: Entities must implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect personal data from unauthorized access, alteration, loss, or destruction.
  • Confidentiality: Entities must maintain the confidentiality of personal data and ensure that only authorized personnel have access to it.

Entities that process personal data must also register with the National Data Protection Registry and appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) responsible for overseeing compliance with the law.

In terms of enforcement, the law establishes several sanctions for non-compliance, including fines, temporary or permanent closure of operations, and even imprisonment in extreme cases.

In conclusion, Costa Rica’s data privacy laws are designed to protect individuals’ personal data and ensure that entities that collect and process this data do so in a responsible and transparent manner. Entities that operate in Costa Rica should ensure that they comply with the law’s requirements to avoid potential legal and reputational risks.

Download this Resource