New Information and Communication Technologies: Rethinking the Future
Technology is advancing at breakneck speed. The analysis of all the aspects involved in new forms of information exchange and development of new products is a goal that no country has yet fully achieved, at least from a legal and regulatory standpoint.
In Argentina, the regulatory framework is favorable in some aspects, though still uncertain in others. Hence strategic approaches and innovative solutions are required when planning business in this sector, which has already produced four “unicorns”: Mercado Libre, Despegar, OLX and Globant.
Focus on innovation and entrepreneurship
The National Executive Branch recently introduced a bill to Congress to support entrepreneurial activity and the development of entrepreneurial capital, as well as the creation of collective financing initiatives (“crowdfunding“). Likewise, it foresees setting up a new corporate type, called Simplified Corporations (“S.A.S” after its Spanish acronym), which stands out for being subject to a more dynamic legal framework and shorter registration terms.
In terms of innovation, the industrial model regime in Argentina is very advantageous: registration terms are short and the rights acquired thereby are broad.
The general rule is that the new ornamental shape or appearance incorporated in or applied to any industrial product can be protected by an industrial design. Spare parts and accessories can also be protected, as long as there is a design aspect that is not purely functional. Rights for a graphical user interface (GUI) or software animations can be obtained as well.
In 2003, Argentina was declared a country which guarantees a level of protection for cross-border data transfers by the European Commission.
Nonetheless, the European Commission warned of the need for the Argentine Data Protection Authority not to be dependent on the Executive Branch and be independent and not subject to instructions.
In consequence, the Argentine Data Protection Authority has recently called for the rethinking and revision of the current law which among other things, should include provisions on demonstrated liability, the right to be forgotten, and the adoption of “privacy by design” policies, among other key points.
The legal regime applicable to virtual currencies is a subject of study that has been approached by scholars and different foreign and international governmental entities. The Central Bank of Argentina has only issued a statement warning the general public about the risks involved in the use of virtual currencies. Likewise, the Argentine Anti-money laundering agency (UIF) requires certain regulated entities to pay special attention and reinforce monitoring of operations carried out with virtual currencies.
Argentine Tax authorities have not yet adopted criterion on treatment of virtual currencies.
Integration of new digital technologies in the financial sector
A few months ago, the Central Bank of Argentina provided the basic regulatory framework to allow financial institutions to offer its clients immediate fund transfers and payments for goods and services free of charge through mobile devices.
More recently, the Central Bank has allowed financial institutions to use electronic and digital signatures in foreign exchange transactions, executing documents through digital means, opening bank accounts and receiving check deposits through electronic means. The Digital Signature Law already established digital signature equivalence with handwritten signatures for both the public and the private sector. Among other requirements, the Central Bank determines that banks must verify the customer’s identity in person and execute specific agreements to use digital and electronic signatures for purchases and sales of foreign currencies.
These measures seek to promote access to banking services within the Argentine population and to facilitate usage of available digital tools.
Marval’s expertise has enabled the firm to be at the forefront of one of the fastest growing sectors of the global economy. Our attorneys have deep industry knowledge of Fintech, E-commerce, Social Media, Digital Marketing, Cyber Security, Cloud Computing, Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain implementations, Software, Data Protection, Information Privacy and Security and Information Technology law, allowing us to effectively navigate global regulatory and business challenges in a broad range of transactions.
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