Impact | Negative
Civicus Rating | Repressed
On April 16, President Obrador enacted a legislative decree creating a National Registry of Mobile Telephone Users – that is, a database holding personal information to be used to fight crimes such as extortion and kidnapping. Telecommunications service providers will be responsible for collecting and registering information on the identity, biometric data and address of users within two years from its release.
Persons who do not comply with the delivery of the information may have their mobile service cancelled, and not be entitled to their reactivation or to compensation of any kind. The requirement to provide personal data and, in particular, biometric data means any leak risks exposing unique personal information, such as fingerprints, which cannot be later modified or restored.
While the bill was under discussion, the Network in Defense of Digital Rights raised concerns before the Senate, warning that such a database poses a serious threat to the privacy and security of citizens. This is further compounded by the fact that the database creates “a single point of failure highly attractive to cyber attack”.
Opposition is further heightened by recollection of the ill-fated National Registry of Telecommunications Users (RENAUT, in Spanish) – similarly created for crime-fighting purposes but then closed down over data leaks.