EconomyFinancialThe SCJN invalidates the telephone registry; plans to register...

The SCJN invalidates the telephone registry; plans to register prepaid lines

The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) voted unanimously in favor of the unconstitutionality of the project of the decree by which the National Register of Mobile Telephony Users (Panaut) is created, arguing that it would violate the right to privacy and the privacy of citizens and would not combat telephone extortion. However, the registration of prepaid lines will be analyzed.

The vote in favor of total invalidity of the Panaut was by the Minister President, Arturo Zaldívar, Norma Piña Hernández, Alfredo Gutiérrez Ortiz, Juan Luis González Alcántara, Javier Laynez and Luis María Aguilar Morales, Jorge Mario Pardo, Loretta Ortiz,

In favor, partially, of the ministers Margarita Ríos Farjat and Alberto Pérez Dayán, who propose a Telephone Registry for prepaid users and access with judicial control, but without biometric data.

Minister Ríos Farjat explained that the telephone registry could be applicable to prepaid lines so that there is a court order, because this type of modality is the one that has the greatest tendency to face extortion, since users are not required to provide personal information unlike postpaid lines.

“It seems to me that what the registry is looking for is that there is not a single line without owner data, but requiring biometric data generates disproportionate interference in personal data, but many of these data are already provided for contracting other services such as credit card , fixed telephony, among others”, considered Minister Fajart.

Minister Javier Laynez explained that although it is true that citizens already provide biometric data, users start from consent; however, it does not mean that this does not violate people’s rights.

The resolution comes after the project presented by Minister Norma Piña Hernández, which argues that the Telephone Register does not have an impact assessment on the protection of consumer information.

In her speech at the SCJN session, Minister Piña explained that the Telephony Register obliges the 129.8 million users who currently have a cell phone to hand over sensitive data to keep and access a telephone line without specifying the use and treatment of such information.

The foregoing, assured Minister Piña, will lead to a violation of human rights and privacy since the State cannot guarantee the total protection of the database to avoid possible hacking or misuse of citizen information.

Among the information that users were going to be obliged to deliver is: biometric data such as fingerprints, facial and iris recognition, Unique Population Registry Code (CURP), indicate if the line was contracted in the prepaid or postpaid mode and provide data on nationality in case of being a foreigner.

“The type of information passes directly into the possession of the State through the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (IFT) and in the decree (to create Panaut) there is no precept that establishes a time limit for the State to have your data (of which users),” said Minister Piña.

For his part, Minister Juan Luis González Alcántara pointed out that the Panaut database would not guarantee the veracity of the information, since to verify said data it will be necessary to resort to the electoral roll of the National Electoral Institute (INE), which currently has only 75% of the population.

“The veracity of the information would still not be useful to deter crime using cell phones with other names or with foreign ISM to make phone calls. The Panaut does not exceed the suitability and I find it unconstitutional, the invalidity of the project must be declared”, he warned.

He noted that if the State seeks to counteract the crime of extortion, it is necessary to seek other mechanisms to achieve this goal that put the privacy and intimacy of users at risk.

Renaut, the previous del Panaut

The minister, Juan Luis Gonzáles commented that the National Registry of Telecommunications Users (Renaut), whose database operated during the administration of Felipe Calderón, did not help combat extortion and did help to increase the violation of user information due to because the data ended up on the black market. The Panaut would also pave the way for a new traffic market for SIM cards for organized crime that could be imported from the United States, where this standard does not exist.

“The experience of the Renaut created is a good example of this, putting citizens at greater risk, which is why in 2011 it was destroyed. Once control of the data is lost, it is practically impossible to recover it,” said Minister González.

For the minister, Luis María Aguilar Morales, although the Register can be a tool to avoid anonymity, he did not fail to warn that the person who commits a crime is not necessarily the one that will appear in the registry.

“I believe that interference with privacy and the protection of sensitive data must be analyzed in the light of a different scrutiny than access to personal data,” he assured.

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