The main objective of the reform, according to the bill, is to stop the crimes of extortion and kidnappings that, in many cases, are committed from prisons, through cell phones that enter clandestinely to prisons.
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The register, according to the bill, “is a database with information on the individuals or legal entities that own each mobile telephone line that has numbers from the Fundamental Technical Numbering Plan.”The register will contain 10 different data points: the mobile phone line number; the date and time of activation of the mobile phone line purchased with the SIM card; the full name of the owner, or where appropriate, the name or business name of the user; nationality; official identification number with photograph, and Unique Population Registry Code (CURP) of the line holder.
Whether you are living and working in a high-threat environment or period of civil unrest, worry about being vulnerable to hacking of your financial data or online profiles, or are simply an advocate for personal privacy and liberty, it’s important to understand the methods by which you are tracked, and by whom, and for what purpose.
In addition, it will contain the biometric data of the user, or, where appropriate, of the legal representative of the business registering the cell phone; the user’s address; the data of the telecommunications company, or where appropriate, of the authorized ones; and the contact information for the mobile phone line, either postpaid or prepaid.“Horror! Morena passes a law to force all Mexicans who have cell phones to hand over their biometric data: iris and personal fingerprints. They will traffic your data,” warned Senator Kenia López Rabadán, from the opposition PAN (National Action Party).
This biometric data that cell phone users will be forced to turn over to the Government includes; fingerprints of the users; the iris of his eyes, the features of his face (facial recognition data), voice recognition, the signature and the DNA. The Mexican Institute of Transparency explains that these data “are the physical, physiological, behavioral or personality traits, attributable to a single person and that are measurable.” Opponents of the bill argue that criminals don’t use their own registered phones to commit crimes and that phone being brought into the prison system are done through corrupt prison employees and that fighting corruption in the system would be the optimal way to fight crime, not targeting innocent citizens by harvesting personal information. If a user’s cell phone is stolen and a crime is committed with the phone, the registered user could be held responsible. In addition, concerns with GPS and registered data will allow the government to track anyone in Mexico with a cell phone.
But a security researcher named Roger Piqueras Jover found that the authentication on 4G doesn’t occur until after the phone has already revealed its IMSI number, which means that stingrays can still grab this data before the phone determines it’s not communicating with an authentic cell tower and switches to one that is authenticated.
The approved bill empowers the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) to be the body in charge of installing, operating, regulating, and maintaining the registry, as well as ensuring its proper functioning and the exchange of information with the competent authorities.
Any hack of the registry could be dangerous to anyone recorded in the registry, putting millions of people at risk in Mexico.Do you want to support independent news publishers that serve local communities? Click here to learn how you can help this news publication.