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By Lina Ornelas

At the Federal Institute of Access to Public Information (Mexico) we are delighted to share with you that the new “Federal Data Protection Law” published yesterday in the Federal Journal of the Federation —today, Tuesday, July 6, comes into force. This new law regulates the legitimate collection, processing and disclosure of personal data held by the private sector. Its purpose is to ensure that privacy and the right to informational self-determination of individuals are guaranteed.

On April 27, the Mexican Congress approved unanimously the Federal Data Protection Law. With the Federal Data Protection Law, the current Federal Institute of Access to Public Information changes its name to Federal Institute of Access to Information and Data Protection. Therefore, from now this institute will expand its oversight powers to cover the private sector, in addition to government entities. This law is a major breakthrough to our path towards democracy, and we become the guarantee institution to protect both the rights to access and data protection.

It is important to mention that the law foresees the right for existing authorities —by sector—to issue regulations along with the institute. It creates a dual institutional arrangement: when a data controller fails to meet the requirements of the law, the issue is initially addressed by existing regulatory authorities according to their unique functions and subjects —economy, health and telecoms, among others.
Read the Law (http://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5150631&fecha=05/07/2010) (Text in Spanish.)

Lina Ornelas is general director of classified information and data protection at the Federal Institute of Access to Public Information in Mexico. She may be reached at lina.ornelas@ifai.org.mx.


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