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Mexico: Law on Database of Mobile (Cell) Phone Users

(Apr. 9, 2009) On April 10, 2009, an amendment to the Federal Act on Telecommunications that mandates telephone companies to create a National Registry of Mobile Phone Users, with the purpose of combating extortion, threats, kidnappings, or any grave offense related to organized crime, came into force. The legal reform, which was officially published in the DIARIO OFICIAL [official gazette] on February 9, 2009, requires mobile phone companies to keep communications data recorded in the registry for 12 months and control each communication made with either owned or rented mobile phones.

The data stored in the registry must be able to accurately reflect information such as the origin and destination of the calls, the dates and times of the calls, voice messages, conference calls, the duration of the calls, and the user's phone contract plan. The information must be available when requested by the Attorney General of the Republic or by the attorney general of any state for the investigation of a crime. In addition, the mobile phone companies must include in the database their clients' vital information and fingerprints. They have a year to build the database. (Decreto por el que se reforma y adicionan diversas disposiciones de la Ley Federal de Telecomunicaciones, DIARIO OFICIAL 43-46 (Feb. 9, 2009), available at http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/ref/lftel/LFTel_ref02_09feb09.pdf.)