The General Law for the Operation of Civil Registries has generated controversy in Mexico after being approved by the Chamber of Deputies with 311 votes in favor of Morena, the PRI, the Green Party and the PT, and 131 against the PAN and the Citizen Movement. and 17 abstentions, mostly from the PRD. The measure grants the Ministry of the Interior the power to control the personal information of Mexican citizens, including biometric data, which has generated concern among some sectors of the opposition and civil organizations.
The controversy lies in the fact that the law establishes the creation of a new body, the National Council of the Civil Registry, which will be under the control of the Ministry of the Interior. The new institution will integrate all the country’s Civil Registries —32, one for each State— and will have, in practice, a monopoly over biometric data and other basic personal information such as name, surname, sex, place and date of birth, nationality and CURP (Unique Population Registry Code).
The approval of the General Law for the Operation of Civil Registries implies that the Ministry of the Interior will become the main entity responsible for registering births, deaths, marriages, and divorces in Mexico. In addition, the new body will have the task of issuing official documents such as birth, marriage and death certificates.
The main objective of this law is to modernize the country’s Civil Registries and simplify procedures for citizens through the creation of a National Registration and Identity System. However, this measure has generated concern among some sectors of society due to the possibility of violating the rights to privacy and protection of personal data.
National Registration and Identity System
Currently, registration and identification systems based on biometric data are a reality in many countries. These systems allow people to be quickly and accurately identified, which can have a huge impact on security and the fight against fraud. However, there are also certain concerns around privacy and data security.
Among the advantages of a National Registration and Identity System through biometric data is:
- Accuracy in identifying people. Biometric data, such as fingerprints or facial recognition, is unique to each individual and cannot be easily duplicated or falsified. This means that biometric systems are very accurate and can help prevent fraud and spoofing.
- The speed of identification. In emergency situations or security operations, every second counts. Identification systems based on biometric data can process information quickly and accurately, which can save lives and reduce response time in critical situations.
- In addition, these systems can be very useful for the government and other organizations in the planning and execution of public policies. For example, it can help ensure that social benefits reach the right people and that resources are used efficiently.
However, there are also disadvantages around these systems:
- Biometric data privacy. If biometric data is collected and stored on a large scale, this can pose a threat to privacy and individual freedom. Furthermore, if biometric-based identification systems are hacked or misused, citizens’ personal data may be at risk.
- Another problem is inclusion and equity. Not all people have access to the documents necessary to register in a biometric identification system. This can exclude the most vulnerable and marginalized people, which can have serious consequences in terms of discrimination and inequality.
A National Registration and Identity System through biometric data has advantages and disadvantages. If properly and responsibly implemented, it can improve the security and efficiency of government operations. However, it is important to address privacy and inclusion concerns to ensure that these systems benefit all citizens.