Mexico approves the creation of a registry of cell phone users; will include personal and biometric data

The plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies approved this Thursday, with 392 in favor, 44 against, and nine abstentions, the creation of a National Register of Mobile Phone Users, integrated with the information of all users who have a cell phone, despite the controversy that it generated by considering that it violates the protection of personal data, as well as constitutional rights and puts users at risk.

The register of users will contain “telephone number, date and time of activation of the SIM card, the full name of the user or company name, as well as personal data of nationality, official identification number, CURP, and biometric data”, as reported in a statement the Chamber of Deputies. The opinion was turned over to the Senate.

With the approval of the modifications to the Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law, the deputies established that the Federal Telecommunications Institute ( IFT ) “will install, regulate and maintain the registry “, in addition to being in charge of the “exchange and verification of the information with the competent authorities ”.

The opinion also determines the constant updating of the register of users, which must register “registrations and cancellations of users, as well as movements associated with telephone lines.”

“The cancellation of a line number in the National Register of Mobile Telephony Users does not imply the elimination of the corresponding registry, since it will remain associated with said person for a period of six months,” the statement details.

The sanctions for those who make “improper use” of the information in the user registry are up to 20 thousand Units of Measurement and Update (UMA).

In her defense of the opinion, the deputy of Morena Erika Rosas Uribe said that “mobile cellular telephony has multiplied the possibilities for criminals to take advantage of people and commit various crimes.”

Rosas Uribe expressed that the user registry will contribute to the reduction of “fraud, cyberbullying, and identity theft since they are practices related to the use of cell phones.

For his part, the deputy of the Citizen Movement, Higinio Del Toro Pérez, said that the user registry is useless if a security strategy and policy is not implemented.  

“To think that extortion ends with the registration of mobile phone users is not to understand what is happening in this country; there are many mechanisms to clone the SIM card and evidently those who try to usurp this measure will be able to do so, “he warned.

He recalled that in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, these types of databases have been canceled because they consider that they violate the human rights of users.

The reform states that the IFT may only provide information on personal data from the registry to people who appear as the owner or to anyone who proves a legal interest.

It also considers infractions for registering a telephone line outside the established times, not carrying out the procedure, making improper use of the certificates, documents, and means of identification related to the registration of a number; as well as altering, omitting, simulating, or allowing illegal registrations or notices, registering false data, providing false information and making use of the information for undue profit. These actions will be sanctioned with between 20 and 15 thousand UMA, or two to three times the profit obtained.


Mexico Daily Post