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Chile: Strong on Obesity, Weak on Privacy

chileChile's feeble old privacy laws may be inching closer to an upgrade, although we've heard that before. While privacy reform, essential for growing the economy, flounders in a legislative morass, Chile takes decisive action in other areas. Perhaps the Department of Food and Nutrition can pass along some tips for effective legislative action.

In the past malnutrition was Chile's main nutritional issue, but these days 67% of people older than 15 are obese or overweight. Packaged food, high in fat, salt, and sugar is readily available and eagerly consumed by all segments of the population. Diet and obesity related conditions are an enormous public health issue, and cardiac problems and certain cancers account for half of all deaths in Chile. The last 20 years in particular have seen the rapid growth of unhealthy eating and attendant health issues.

It has been almost that long since the passage of Chile's 1999 Law on the Protection of Personal Data. The law was hardly robust even then, and neglected the fundamental step of establishing a Data Protection Authority. The feeble data protection and privacy law is impeding the vigor and health of the Chilean economy.

As Chile struggles with a deficit, and a 20% price drop in Copper, its main export, other potential areas of growth are hobbled by the outdated law. Businesses that would deal with data on EU citizens are crippled by lack of adequate data protection, and the burgeoning services industry is sharply limited. A draft bill was published in 2014, but it languishes in legislative squabbling.

Meanwhile the Department of Food and Nutrition has moved crisply along with programs aimed at educating the population about healthy eating. At the end of June a new phase was rolled out which requires highly visible labeling on packaged foods that are high in calories, sugar, saturated fats, and/or sodium.

The labeling consists of large, black octagons saying "High In..." - one for each of the covered ingredients that exceed healthy limits. The objective was to make it easy for consumers to quickly and easily make smart choices when shopping. Even if people don't read the nutrition labels, or comprehend the meaning, they do understand that the labeled option is not the healthy one. 

While privacy laws have an ill effect on parts of the economy, other business sectors in Chile are doing very well. The wine industry is thriving and in 2015 Chile was the world's fourth largest exporter at $1.8 billion - 5.8% of total wine exports. Blueberries and other fruit  exports are growing, and Chile has abundant solar energy, with capacity quadrupling since 2013. As the prevalence of lithium batteries is about to explode, Chile sits on more than half of the world’s lithium reserves.

If you're a marketer, perhaps you should consider the many opportunities for growth that Chile offers. Take this direct marketing list for example:

With a universe of 3.5 million, this file puts you in touch with Chile's leading consumers. Reach individuals 18 years and older, classified by socio economic level, at their home addresses. With one of the highest levels of address accuracy of any list in Chile, all records are updated continuously from various sources including: return mail, telemarketing and directories.

Infocore ID: 100865

Contact us to inquire about this, or other available data around the world.

For further reading -

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/column-chiles-copper-future-is-bright/

http://www.npr...chile-battles-obesity-with-stop-signs-on-packaged-foods

http://www.bna.com/chile-amend-privacy-n57982074211/

http://www.mondaq.com/x/499782/Data+Protection+Privacy/Bill+Of...Congress