A mendments to the Telecom Law in connection with Biometric Data

On April 16, 2021, a decree amending several provisions of the Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law (the “Amendment”) resulting in the creation of a National Registry of Mobile Telephony Users (the “User Registry“), was published in the Federal Official Gazette. The Amendment came into force on the day following its publication.

The User Registry will consist of a database made up of information that will be provided by concessionaires and resellers of mobile telephone services (“Concessionaires”) regrading the identity of the owners of the relevant mobile telephone lines, including individuals and entities. The information is expected to be used as a tool in the fight against crime.

The Federal Institute of Telecommunications (“IFT“) will operate the User Registry, ensuring its proper functioning and the flow of information with public safety and law enforcement authorities.

Concessionaires will have the legal obligation to collect all information from the owners of the relevant mobile telephone lines, as well as the right to suspend the service upon failure of the owners to provide the required information.

This Amendment is particularly controversial as it contemplates the collection of biometric data as an exception to the requirement to obtain the data owner´s consent for processing such sensitive data. Concessionaires and resellers will not require consent from the data owners or a court order in order to transfer such data to the authority in charge of the User Registry.

Once the User Registry is implemented pursuant to the Amendment, the delivery of all required information (including biometrics), will be a condition to acquire and/or maintain a new mobile telephone line. Concessionaires will have a 2-year term to collect all information prior to the entry into force of the Amendment.

IFT must issue the regulatory provisions applicable to the User Registry within 180 days following the publication of the decree, and concessionaires and resellers shall register new mobile telephone users within 6 months from the date on which the IFT issues the regulatory provisions.

For more information, please feel free to contact:

Begoña Cancino
Tel: (52-55) 4748-0670