The European Commission has approved the adequacy of Uruguay's 2008 Personal Data Protection Act, making it the second country in Latin America after Argentina and one of only a handful in the world to gain this key endorsement.

In Europe, personal data protection is ruled by [EU Data Protection] Directive [95/46/EC] stating that EU member states can only transfer their citizens' data to third countries that have established a level of protection, and Uruguay has reached this stage,” Uruguay's presidential website reported Sept. 3.

The adequacy finding will “favor the flow of data and the transfer of information at trade and financial levels,” the statement said. The EU published the decision in its Spanish language official gazette.

Martin Pesce, a data protection expert with the Montevideo, Uruguay law firm Ferrere, said data-transfer related business has picked up dramatically since Law No. 18331 was enacted in August 2008 and should increase even more now that it has gained EC adequacy recognition.

This is very important and very relevant news for Uruguay,” he told BNA. “The call centers industry has grown dramatically since 2008. Now other business-process-outsourcing niches with high added value, such as telemedicine—including medical image diagnosis—and accounting services could also get a boost.

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