MEXICO CITY – People convicted of selling confidential personal data collected by the government will face up to five years in prison under a bill passed this week by Mexico’s Congress.
The measure also mandates fines as high as $2.9 million for the improper use of “sensitive data.”
The bill was quickly drafted and passed by both houses of Congress after a newspaper reported that a data package including national election rolls, vehicle registration records, and the identities – with photos – of police officers could be had for $12,000 on the black market in Mexico City.
Mexico’s Federal Institute for Access to Public Information, or IFAI, said in a statement that the new law gives citizens assurance their information will be used only for legitimate purposes.
The legislation is consistent with international standards that “grant more juridical security to foreign investment, which will help elevate Mexico’s competitiveness,” IFAI said.
The new law adds the phrase “data protection” to IFAI’s name and amends Mexico’s freedom of information act to give citizens the right to view their government files and have erroneous items removed. EFE