Brazil inches towards charging companies for data services

A new bill on the topic aims to increase real-time data flows from the government to the private sector.

The Brazilian government could be taking the first step towards charging companies for access to data should a new bill on the subject gets approved by its Congress.

According to the proposal, which aims to increase real-time data flows from the government to the private sector,  the government would receive real-time data access to serve specific demands from businesses or industry sectors.

However, the charges for supplementary data would be applicable only in cases where these additional requests place additional demands or require investments from the government agencies providing the service.

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The amounts to be charged should follow "objective, transparent and verifiable criteria", according to the bill, and only cover costs relating to service provision and data interoperability.

According to the bill, charges for additional data provision will not apply for public sector organizations. At the same time, non-profits and academic bodies, as well as startups and small and medium enterprises, may benefit from different rates or even be provided with the service at no cost.

The project will now be analyzed by the Science and Technology, Communication and Informatics, Management and Public Service commissions. The Labor, Tax, Citizenship, Constitution and Justice commissions will also scrutinize the proposal.

If the bill gets tuned into law, each government body will need to establish its own framework for supplying supplementary data and follow basic criteria such as ensuring the provision of free services is not impacted and the rules around charges when applicable.

The proposals around charging for data services in government would alter Brazil's digital government law, introduced in July 2021, with rules and instruments aimed at increasing the efficiency of public sector administration. 

The regulation introduced the concept of government as a platform around Gov.br, a citizen services platform that facilitates the use of publicly accessible data and promotes the interaction between various third-party agents to encourage innovation, exploration of economic activities and the provision of services to the population.