Brazil's state-owned firm Dataprev fires hundreds of staff ahead of privatization

The company responsible for the IT underpinning the social security system will close 20 offices across the country and hopes to cut operational spend by $22 million

As the Brazilian government readies the sale of a number of assets to the private sector, it has started to streamline one of the technology companies it intends to dispose of, with a view of reducing operational spend by about 93 million reais ($22 million).

Dataprev, the government's social security technology and information company, will axe 493 jobs and shut down 20 offices in the Brazilian states of Acre, Alagoas, Amapá, Amazonas, Bahia, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraná, Pernambuco, Piauí, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondônia, Roraima, Sergipe e Tocantins.

Following this exercise, the company will maintain a handful of offices, in the capital, Brasilia, as well as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. In addition, development centers in the states of Santa Catarina, Paraíba, Ceará and Rio Grande do Norte, as well as another center in Rio, will be maintained.

Dataprev provides technology information services to the Brazilian social welfare system. It treats and stores data related to millions of citizens on benefits. The company itself voiced concerns around what will happen to the personal data belonging to millions of Brazilians that it handles after the sale, warning that shifting data to private servers "could compromise national sovereignty."

The operational streamlining is the biggest news relating to Dataprev since the announcement of the Brazilian government's privatization program in August 2019.

A similar state-owned firm, the Federal Data Processing Service (Serpro), is also among the assets that will be sold. Serpro provides systems across all government bodies and is staffed by several thousands of employees. The massive IT estate overseen by the firm includes all the tax-related information on individuals and businesses.

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