The first instance court in Montevideo dismissed Rinde2’s complaint on 6 August, on grounds that Nielsen had legally obtained the data it used to compile information on the drinks market from public sources and supermarkets or other points of sale.

Rinde2, which was advised by Pígola Monfort & Asociados, also attempted to gain free access to Nielsen’s reports by invoking Uruguay's habeas data act, which enables citizens and legal entities to obtain information relating to themselves from any organization which registers it. The court refused, saying that while Rinde2 was entitled to see the raw data used by Nielsen, it was not allowed to obtain the redacted reports the company sells to its clients without paying.

FERRERE associate Martín Pesce notes that the case tackled issues fundamental to the way Nielsen and other market research companies operate. “This is a landmark case for our client, as its business model could have been disrupted if companies could have stated a right to obtain market information based on habeas data regulation, or if the courts could have limited the company’s right to gather, process and distribute market information,” he explains.

Partner Agustín Mayer adds that this is the first time that Uruguay’s personal data protection act, which has been in force since 2009, has been “tested in a case such as this”, where a market research company was compiling data on a brand without its permission.

Article published in Latin Lawyer on Thursday, 29 August 2013.