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    Personal data protection guarantee

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    Garantía de protección de datos personales

    Carrying out the priority required for Cuba to have a legal regulation that protects personal data, in which the fundamental principles and guarantees for the protection of the owner of personal information are defined, is already established.

    This means, for experts and the population in general, to assume more responsible postures in the use, storage and treatment of their own personal information and that of third parties.

    Article one of the Constitution of the Republic, proclaimed in April 2019, marks the performance of all actors in society and, in particular, of the operators of Law in any field. For people, articles 40, 48, and 97 consecrate human dignity as the supreme value; respect for personal and family identity, one's own image and voice, honor and personal identity; access to personal data, the right to non-disclosure of these, and to obtain their correction, rectification, modification, update or cancellation.

    In terms of personal data protection, at the time of the proclamation and entry into force of the Constitution, there was little legislative experience accumulated on the subject, since only some specific regulatory provisions touched on aspects related to it. Therefore, the legislator He had to face an important group of questions and problems to which he sought a legal solution, taking as reference the accumulated international experiences on the subject.

    Among the most important issues to address, we can find: the normative dispersion and absence of a comprehensive, coherent and hierarchical legal regime that regulates and guarantees the protection of personal data and responds to the Constitution; insufficient culture in public servants and citizens, on the treatment and protection of personal data, in terms of rights; lack of regulation of administrative or jurisdictional procedures for procedures or claims of citizens, due to non-conformity with the treatment of their personal data or violation of their rights and guarantees; as well as the responsibilities of bodies, agencies, institutions, authorities and officials involved in the collection, treatment, protection and conservation of personal data; non-existence of legal treatment to the right of informative self-determination based on consent and, consequently, an effective protection of the right to protection of these data, in order to avoid illicit traffic.

    When in 2011, for example, an installer named Telephone Directory QVA2011 appeared, which gave access to the cell phone or landline number, home address, name and surname or identity card of the holders of Cuban telephone lines, the majority of its users, Seduced by the novelty, they did not realize that these details had been extracted from the archives of the Cuban Telecommunications Company (ETECSA), without their consent, much less that of those involved.

    Besides, it is not that before the Internet era we did not provide information of this nature, but that such is the level reached by phenomena such as the Internet of things, cloud computing or big data, which have revolutionized the forms of political organization, social and economic in the global environment. In this scenario, data is the most important asset, which is why, increasingly, its various types are created, stored and processed through digital networks, for electronic purchases or other daily activities that range from medical care, payment of electricity and telephone service, even bank transactions, Dr. Zahira Ojeda Bello, Doctor of Legal Sciences, explained in an article.

    In Cuba, until the 1976 Constitution, the recognition of the right to personal data protection was non-existent. However, there were several legal regulations of a sectoral nature that dealt with information in a general sense and indistinctly could be assumed as rules that protected certain personal information, either because they dealt with sensitive data such as health data or because they appeared in databases of these sectors.

    Having a specific regulation of these characteristics would raise the citizen's perception of risk regarding the destination and treatment of their data, individual and collective responsibility increased in the digital age. This is another of the edges that must be implemented with greater force on the national stage, because technological access is far ahead of citizen awareness of the dangers to which they are exposed. Without, therefore, we stop visualizing the role of public or private institutions as guarantors of this right.

    In the same way, it highlights the recognition of human dignity as the supreme value that governs the other rights and therefore the right to the protection of personal data, in accordance with postulate 40 of the Magna Carta, which constitutes a foundation of high importance. in the legal order on the way to solve the obstacles that are still manifested both in the exercise of this right and in the face of the possible violations that are manifested. Together with the above, essential definitions are delimited such as personal data, file, processing of personal data, responsible and in charge of processing.