the objective of this article is to examine whether the policies for access to data stored in biological collections and produced by the research program in biodiversity (ppbio), ministry of science and technology (mct), are in accordance to the relevant brazilian legislation. it was evaluated whether the restrictions on access to data of threatened species, present in the policies of the three research institutes of mct studied, are provided by law or sustained by the information science. the conclusion is that, according the brazilian law, there is no support which provides for or encourages restrictions to accessing data of biological species because it is included in the list of threatenced species. brazilian policies are not in accordance to the legislation or prevailing mentality in the scientific community. the suggestion is that, based on a broad discussion about the subject, these policies should be reviewed. this is a complex subject which concerns the whole society.