/ Macarena Gatica appointed as partner of Alessandri Abogados29 December, 2020
The lawyer Macarena Gatica, leading specialist of the technology, data protection and cyber security group of the firm, has been appointed partner of Alessandri Abogados as of January 1st, 2021.
A few weeks before the commemoration of the world-wide data protection day (January 28th) and in the middle of a wave of hacks and security violations in Chile and the world, the role of the lawyer and its team is being very relevant to advise to banks and financial institutions, technology companies, retail, e-commerce, clinics and health insurance companies, among other areas.
At a key moment for the bill on personal data protection -which creates a new National Data Protection Agency, and to which the Government has just given great legislative urgency-, the professional who has led the technological group of the firm these last three years, is confident that the law will be soon dispatched from the Congress. “In Alessandri we were pioneers in inviting companies to learn about the bill and to prepare on time for what is to come”, explains the new partner.
The importance of personal data protection
The exponential increase of e-commerce, the acceleration of digital transformation due to the pandemic, the traceability of infections, teleworking, online education and artificial intelligence, make even more evident the importance of personal data in today’s world.
“Financial companies were the first to understand the need to adapt their processes, as they have been the most regulated in relation to the operational risk presented by cyber security”, explains Macarena. “However, over time, we have seen that this concern has migrated to different industries, which is based not only on future regulatory compliance but also on understanding how the business model can change with the new standard”.
Bearing in mind that the bill bases several provisions on the European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it is important to analyze its case law. Fines applied to offenders during 2019 amounted to €158,135,806. In this regard, it is not possible to ignore that the data protection culture in the EU dates back to the end of the Second World War, but before the GDPR it already had Directive 95-46. The new partner of Alessandri explains that in Chile, in spite of Law No. 19,628, “we are in the starting point in this matter, the adaptation to the new regulation is a 180 degrees turn for any public and private institution”.
Who is Alessandri’s new partner
Macarena Gatica is 46 years old, she studied law at Universidad Gabriela Mistral, where she graduated magna cum laude and was the best student of the generation, being awarded a scholarship for 3 consecutive years. She has 20 years of experience in different fields of law in Chile, the United States, Latin America and Spain.
She works in the intellectual property and technology group of Alessandri, as leader of the firm’s data protection and cyber security area, with emphasis on technology contracting and licensing, e-commerce, international law, software and industrial property. She has extensive experience in adapting to new regulations in the area of personal data.
According to Rodrigo Velasco, managing partner of the intellectual property and technology group of Alessandri, “very few specialists in Chile have the international experience of Macarena in the implementation of compliance plans in the field of personal data and cyber security. We are proud of her leadership and happy to welcome her as a partner of Alessandri”.
Macarena began her career in the insurance area, as director of the legal area at Juan Pablo Valdivieso & Asociados. She later lived in the United States where she worked as Director of Compliance at Innova College (Online College). In 2013 she joined Integra IP as Associate Legal Advisor and upon her return to Chile she assumed the direction of the legal department of Jarry IP, as Head of Enforcement and Litigation.
Before joining Alessandri in 2017, she served for six years as Legal Advisor to MasterBase®, assuming the legal management for Chile and subsidiaries. Due to the company’s business, she concentrated much of her practice on the protection and processing of personal data and technology in Chile and the markets they serve: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Spain, Ecuador, Peru, USA, Central America, among other countries.
Memberships, awards and recent activities:
- Chilean Bar Association
- International Association of Privacy Professionals, IAPP (iapp.org)
- Co-Chair IAPP KnowledgeNet Chapter – Chile, 2021-2023
- Member of the Data Protection Committee of the International Trademark Association (INTA), 2020-2022
- Co-director of the digital regulation table of the Chilean-North American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham)
- Best Lawyers, Privacy and Security Law, 2021
- Shortlisted “Chambers and Partners Diversity and Inclusion Award”, Latin America 2020
- Legal 500, Data Privacy “Next Generation Partners”, 2020
- “Women in Cybersecurity 2019” Award from the Chilean Cybersecurity Alliance
- Professor at the Data Protection and Cybersecurity Diploma Courses at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Universidad del Desarrollo.