MEXICO CITY.- The Mexican Senate recently approved the creation of the National Register of Mobile Phone Users with biometric data. The reform to the Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law seeks to make it mandatory for users in the country to register in a database when acquiring a SIM card or a prepaid telephone line, to reduce the use of disposable phones for extortion or in case of kidnapping.
The initiative was approved with 54 votes in favor, 49 against, and 10 abstentions, which will be sent to the Executive which will determine the new requirements to process a telephone line to the more than 125 million users in the country. If the registration is not done within 30 days, the telephone line will be canceled and a fine of 89 thousand 692 pesos will be issued.
If approved, the IFT will be in charge of safeguarding the information and will establish the procedures to validate it. Critics have pointed out that this could put the safety of users at risk by having this registry available to the state and Federal Institute of Telecommunications to obtain data from citizens from the telephone companies.
In this sense, Renaut, the failed initiative of the Felipe Calderón government, has been mentioned for providing data to criminal networks to continue operating which led to the falsification of official documents and identifications. Specialists have mentioned this type of measure is not the best to eradicate these crimes.
The mobile data will include the date and time of activation of the line purchased on a SIM card, full name or, where appropriate, the name or company name of the user, nationality, official identification number with photography and CURP, biometric data of the user (fingerprint, iris of the eyes, facial features, tone of voice and signature), address, data of the telecommunications concessionaire, as well as the hiring scheme of the mobile line: postpaid or prepaid.