The Dangers of Mexicos National Register of Mobile Telephone Users (Panaut)


If you are not concerned about the creation of the National Register of Mobile Telephone Users (Panaut), allow me to share a story and some more history.

If you are not concerned about the creation of the National Register of Mobile Telephone Users (Panaut), which will force telephone companies to collect the biometric data of those who are going to acquire a cell phone or maintain a line, let me share a story with you and some more history.

A few years ago, a server was a Compliance Officer for a bank and used software to conduct due diligence investigations, and I was always intrigued by the accuracy of the results it produced for Mexican clients. The file that the system generated included the address, date of birth, gender, and CURP of the clients; But it wasn’t until we had to renew this provider’s license that I was able to find out why: the company was owned by the infamous ChoicePoint.

Yes, the company that, in 2003, “bought” the database of the then Federal Electoral Institute for the modest amount of 200,000 pesos and made sensitive information of all voters in Mexico available to its clients. Once the case was released, investigations were opened in Mexico and the United States, but I am not aware that anyone has been prosecuted or that ChoicePoint has faced any type of sanction. At most, the company argued that it had obtained the registry legally and that its use was for police purposes, which is understandable, since, apparently, its client was the Department of Homeland Security.

In 2008, the National Registry of Mobile Telephony Users (Renaut) was approved and they wanted to force us to register and deliver our information, and, to the telephone companies, to create a user base. Obviously, most of them did not register, which did not turn out to be a bad idea, since, in 2010, we learned that the database with the 20 million users who did register was for sale online for only 500 pesos, which led, in 2012, the then Federal Institute for Access to Information and Data Protection to order its elimination.

In 2010, there was another leak of information or sale of the IFE registry, courtesy of the then political party Convergence for Democracy, which later became the Citizen Movement, for which, in 2016, the National Electoral Institute sanctioned the party with a fine. of 61 million pesos and Ricardo Mejía Berdeja, then secretary of Organization of the party, with another for 25,000 pesos, when it was determined that the now undersecretary of Public Security and Citizen Protection (and defender of this madness) had breached his obligation to maintain good I safeguard the information.

In 2021, our legislators created the Panaut in order to combat the criminal use of cell phones and prevent, for example, extortion calls or the handling of criminal groups from prisons, imposing obligations on the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) that do not they may necessarily be met, due to lack of budget; to the telephone companies, a titanic task that could be supplied with other measures (according to AT&T Mexico); and to you, a violation of your individual guarantees.

Let’s suppose that a crime is committed from a telephone that, due to an information leak, is registered with your biometric data. The Public Ministry could link him with that homicide, that kidnapping or that extortion, and remain, at least, linked to the process. IFT officials warned that, without an increase of 900 million pesos (mp) to its budget, plus 223 million pesos per year for maintenance and operation of the platform, the security of users’ biometric data would be compromised.


Mexico Daily Post