Deputies from Morena and federal security officials urged the creation of the Register of Mobile Phone Users to combat the use of prepaid SIM cards in the commission of extortion and kidnapping crimes, but representatives of concessionaires and civil society rejected the proposal as ineffective and warned about the risk of theft and trafficking of personal data.
During the virtual forum « Register of Mobile Telephony Users » organized by the Communications Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, legislators and specialists agreed on the need to stop the use of cell phones to commit crimes, but without violating the personal data of millions of people.
The head of the National Information Center of the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System, David Pérez, stressed that just last year more than six million extortions were committed in Mexico and detailed that this crime is the most frequent in 14 entities, while in the center of the country it maintains a high incidence.
The head of the Police, Penitentiary and Private Security Political Unit of the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection, Ignacio Hernández, pointed out that crime has turned to cell phones and prepaid chips, which are affordable and without registration of the acquirer, to kidnap and extort money.
« It is worrisome that in a kidnapping or extortion five or six telephone numbers are used and there is no record of who controls that telephony chip, » he said.
He pointed out that the proposal of the Registry of Mobile Telephony Users it would oblige the concessionaire to collect personal data and Ifetel would have control of that information.
However, the general director of the National Telecommunications Association, Gabriel Székely, argued that the registry has not worked and will not, Well, having one of the biometric type and with a fingerprint would have a cost of more than 21 billion pesos.
The director of public policy of the Global Association of Mobile Communication Systems, Lucas Gallitto, indicated in turn that although there is no doubt that criminals and terrorists use prepaid cards to remain anonymous, « There is no empirical evidence to show that user registration leads to a reduction in criminal activity. »
In his turn, the vice president of external affairs for AT&T Mexico, Daniel Ríos, argued that several Latin American countries have decided to use this registry, but they have not found clear or conclusive evidence that they impact on reducing crimes such as extortion.
« The legislation must protect personal data and it is necessary to analyze its design, because there are more than one hundred million lines and it is necessary to study if it is the ideal mechanism, » he said.
The executive director of the organization Network in Defense of Digital Rights, Luis Fernando García, warned about the risk of theft and infiltration of the database, as happened with the National Registry of Telephone Users (Renaut) of 2009, which ended up for sale in Tepito.
“Civil society rejects this measure and we are going to fight it, because it is unconstitutional; it is an authoritarian measure not consistent with the majority or with the current government ”, he remarked.