Report to the 74th General Assembly
Oct 19 to 22
Salta, Argentina

During this period several legislative bills represent the main threats to freedom of the press and of expression.

A bill before Congress would establish the right to oblivion as an inalienable right of a legal owner of personal information, being able to demand the elimination of publications in a news media outlet that would cause harm to the legal owner by being offended or unjustly mentioned. The bill is in contravention of the Law on Protection of Personal Data that expressly excludes from its scope of protection publications in the media.

Currently there exists a bill to amend the Law on Protection of Data which would allow a state body to determine what kind of information or actions that the media put into practice are opinions and information and whose personal data are susceptible to protection.

The High Courts of Justice have issued several rulings where there have not been accepted requests of elimination of online or digital news, it being recognized that while there does not exist a law in that regard what is not acceptable is the elimination of news. They consecrate the preponderance of the constitutional right of freedom of expression over the right to protection of private life.

Another bill would establish a ban on reporting on minors, which would impede the dissemination of the picture, identity or details necessary for the identification of any child, except with the authorization of his or her parents and the express consent according to his or her age and stage of maturity, in contravention of the constitutional guarantee of a media outlet to inform and give an opinion regarding matters concerning minors.

Another bill seeks to amend the Law on Freedom of Opinion and of Information, with the objective of punishing the promotion of "negative stereotypes of women." Its drafting would give rise to responsibilities for the media, given its ambiguity.

The son of former president Michelle Bachelet filed a million-dollar lawsuit for indemnity for damages against a television channel, accusing it of "persecution" through humorous routines and political satire regularly used in the media about public personalities.

On July 9, the Supreme Court upheld a lawsuit against Google and five media outlets. The ruling found that four of the media that were the object of the lawsuit acted arbitrarily in reporting on the criminal case in which the plaintiff was involved.
As a result, the highest court forced the media to publish records showing that the person in question had sought an alternative solution to his criminal case. Thus, Chilean courts have gone from the prohibition to inform to the obligation to publish – in a paradoxical turn based on the alleged right to be forgotten.