The fallout from the National Security Agency’s espionage activities has triggered angry backlashes from governments across the Americas, but the violation has been particularly acute in Brazil, where President Dilma Rousseff went to great lengths in her recent UN General Assembly speech in September to tongue-lash the United States.
Despite the spying revelations and the diplomatic friction between the U.S. and Brazil, there is one clear and positive outcome from the breaches. According to Cassio Dreyfuss, a vice president at Gartner based in Sao Paulo who spoke on a panel this morning at the annual Brasscom Global IT Summit, the spying has prompted large numbers of enterprises in Brazil to examine their data protection policies.
“Before this incident, the issue of data protection was not front and center for many small to medium enterprises,” said Dreyfuss. “That is changing because of the NSA scandal.”
Dreyfuss pointed out that multinational firms based in Brazil already have advanced data protection tools in place, however the discussion of privacy has not been a priority for more domestically focused firms.
Hansa Iyengar, a sourcing and vendor management analyst at Forrester Research, also commented on the recent demonstrations occurring in Brazil. In her view, global services investors should not view these events in a negative light, instead noting that virtually “all emerging markets confront such issues” and the public dissent is a symbol of a well-functioning democracy.