Mexico’s Supreme Court struck down on Monday a 2021 law that would have required cellphone companies to collect biometric data like fingerprints or eye scans from customers.
The court ruled the law was too invasive of personal liberty, in comparison with any positive effect it could have had. The court also ruled there were other measures that could be taken to cut down on crimes involving phones.
Cellphones in Mexico are often used in kidnappings and extortions, sometimes by inmates calling from prisons. However, such calls usually made from stolen, pre-paid or “burner” phones that the law wouldn’t have affected much.
The law, which was passed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s Morena party last year, was the latest in a string of failed efforts to reign in phone crimes.
Civic groups said the measure would put customers’ personal data at risk and do little to fight crime. The Mexican government has tried cellphone registries before without success and hasn’t even been able to block cell calls from within prisons.
López Obrador said at the time that “it is just a registry to care for the population,” adding that “we will never spy on anybody.”
Critics were more concerned about the information being leaked or sold, saying it could actually help thieves, extortionists and kidnappers. They noted a similar registry attempted by a previous administration between 2008 and 2011 was abandoned after user data was leaked.
Many also feared such a huge government registry of as many as 120 million cellphone lines would be vulnerable to hackers.
Subscribe here for just .08 cents per day to read subscriber content, join the PVDN newsletter, and browse with site ad-free. Support local news.
Trending news on PVDN
- International Space Station captures mesmerizing video of Puerto Vallarta from space Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) – People in Puerto Vallarta got a chance to see the Bay of Banderas from space, thanks to the International Space Station’s external cameras that share video as it orbits the earth. Through their Twitter account, @ISSAboveYou, they shared a video of the space station orbiting above Puerto Vallarta and then passing…
- Government stops construction on four condominium developments in Puerto Vallarta for violations The Secretary of Environment (Semarnat) in Jalisco, Raúl Rodgríguez Rosales, reported that the government agency stopped the construction of four condominium developments in Puerto Vallarta for not complying with regulations.
- The age-old question: Is it safe to travel to Mexico? Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) – A series of incidents, including taxi driver protests in Cancun while pulling Uber drivers and their passengers out of cars and beating them, and a stray bullet at the Culiacán Airport, have led foreign tourists to question whether it is safe to travel to Mexico, according to The New York Times.…
- 1st phase of Mexican solar project to be operating in April PUERTO PEÑASCO, Mexico (AP) — In April, Mexico plans to power up the first phase of a huge solar energy project near a beach town popular with tourists making the short drive from the United States. Once completed, the full $1.6 billion project will have a generating capacity of 1,000 megawatts — enough to power…
- At least 4,000 spring breakers expected in Puerto Vallarta this year Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) – At least 4,000 spring breakers will arrive in Puerto Vallarta this year, bringing with them a significant economic benefit for the destination. This was confirmed by the manager of the office of the Municipal Tourism Directorate, Christian Preciado. “We bring around 4,000 confirmed spring breakers with the holiday period, they are…