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If you want to use your mobile, give me your fingerprint: this is how Mexico wants to link phone numbers with biometric data


Think about that you just wish to purchase a cellular and a telephone quantity. You go to a retailer and the clerk asks to your ID (one thing regular) after which asks you to scan your fingerprint. If you happen to do not, you run out of cellular.

That’s about to occur in Mexico. The Senate of this nation has accepted the creation of the so-called Nationwide Register of Cell Phone Customers (PNUTM) that will affiliate every consumer with numerous information, together with biometric information. The dystopian proposal has raised alarms, and numerous organizations and activist associations have overtly protested in opposition to that proposal.

The excuse: preventing extortion and kidnapping

The Senate accepted the creation of this registry by 54 votes in favor, 49 in opposition to and 10 abstentions. It would include information such because the cellular quantity, date and time of activation, title and nationality of the consumer, his Distinctive Inhabitants Registry Code (CURP) and, most disturbingly, your biometric information, which can be these of the authorized consultant of the pure particular person (for instance, within the case of minors).

The Nationwide Regeneration Motion (Morena) to which President Andrés Manuel López Obrador belongs supported the creation of this reform. In line with these accountable, the employer shall be a great tool for combat crimes resembling extortion and kidnapping who usually use cellphones to speak with victims.

Comfortable but imperfect: biometrics is our ally on mobile, but it is far from impregnable

This laws would give telephony operators resembling Telcel and AT&T a interval of two years to gather that information and switch them to the Mexican Authorities. The Federal Institute of Telecommunications shall be in control of creating and managing this Register, which is not going to solely accumulate information from new prospects, but in addition from all those that have already acquired a cellular quantity beforehand.

Numerous civil teams they have indicated that the measure would put buyer information in danger and it’ll do virtually nothing relating to preventing crime. The measure is certainly not new, and international locations like Thailand they announced a similar system on the finish of 2017.

The reform has already been tried to cross prior to now: greater than a decade in the past the identical arguments have been used, however the try to cross a legislation on the matter failed.

This sample is nothing greater than a brand new model of the Nationwide Registry of Telecommunications Customers (RENAUT), which was the failed try of 2008 throughout the federal government of President Felipe Calderón.

That file was really deleted in 2011 as a result of your database was leaked and uncovered on the black market. According the group Community in Protection of Digital Rights (R3D), “as an alternative of influencing the discount of crime, the crimes of extortion and kidnapping elevated by 40 and eight p.c, respectively, in the course of the interval of validity of the registry.”

Efforts to reactivate this reform have now been profitable, and López Obrador indicated that it’s “only a registry to maintain the inhabitants,” including that “We’re by no means going to hold out espionage actions”.

Opposition senators have indicated that will problem the brand new rules earlier than the Supreme Court docket of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), but when this measure just isn’t reversed, the brand new registry will take impact successfully all through 2022.


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