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The main data protection legislation is the Federal Law on the Protection of Personal Data held by Private Parties (the “Data Protection Law”) and its supplementary regulation (the “Data Protection Regulations”), together the “Data Protection Legislation”. The Data Protection Law came into force in July 2010 and the Data Protection Regulation came into force in December 2011. Other relevant legislation containing data protection provisions includes:
Articles 6 to 16 of the Mexican Constitution;
The Privacy Notice Guidelines, which govern the content of data privacy notices and obtaining consent for processing personal data;
The General Law for the Protection of Personal Data in Possession of Obligated Subjects governs personal data held by public bodies; and
The Federal Consumer Protection Law governs certain aspects concerning marketing activities.
Additionally, Mexico is a signatory of international agreements on Data Protection, like the Convention for the Protection of the People Regarding the Automated Treatment of Personal Information. Mexico is also a member or the Inter American Network of Data Protection.
Law on Personal Data Protection ("RS Official Gazette", No. 87/2018) (the “PDP Law”)
2. Data protection authority
The Federal Institute for Access to Information and Data Protection (Instituto Nacional de Acceso a la Información y Protección de Datos Personales or "INAI"), is responsible for overseeing the Data Protection Legislation. Its aim is to encourage access to all public information about governmental activities, and budgets, as well as seeking the protection of personal data and the right to privacy. The INAI, if requested by a data subject, may carry out an investigation to ensure compliance with the Data Protection Legislation of a specific undertaking and sanction those found to be in breach the Data Protection Legislation.
There are no anticipated changes. Notwithstanding, the President of Mexico suggested in January that the INAI would be replaced by a State-controlled body. No additional details or timelines have been provided.
There are no anticipated changes.
4. Sanctions & non-compliance
The INAI has the has the authority to impose the following administrative fines:
100 to 160,000 units of measure
1 unit of measure = MXN 86.88 (Mexican Pesos)
Acting negligently or fraudulently in processing and responding to requests for personal data access, rectification, cancellation or objection;
Fraudulently declaring the inexistence of personal data where such exists in whole or in part in the databases of the Data Controller;
Processing personal data in violation of the principles established in the Data Protection Law;
Omitting from the Privacy Notice any or all of the information it requires;
Maintaining inaccurate personal data when such action is attributable to the Data Controller, or failing to perform legally due rectifications or cancellations where the data subject’s rights are affected; and
Failure to comply with the notice warnings issued by the INAI.
200 to 320,000 units of measure
1 unit of measure = MXN 86.88 (Mexican Pesos)
Breaching the duty of confidentiality set out in the Data Protection Law;
Materially changing the original data processing purpose in contravention of the Data Protection Law;
Transferring data to third parties without providing them with the Privacy Notice containing the limitations to which the data subject has conditioned data disclosure;
Compromising the security of databases, sites, programmes or equipment;
Carrying out the transfer or assignment of personal data outside of the cases where it is permitted under the Data Protection Law;
Collecting or transferring personal data without the express consent of the data subject where required;
Obstructing verification actions of the INAI;
Collecting data in a deceptive and fraudulent manner;
Continuing with the illegitimate use of personal data when the INAI or the data subjects have requested such use be ended;
Processing personal data in a way that affects or impedes the exercise of the rights of access, rectification, cancellation and objection set;
Creating special data databases in violation of the Data Protection Law.
In the event that the infractions mentioned in the preceding paragraphs persist, an additional fine of 100 to 320,000 units of measure
1 unit of measure = MXN 86.88 (Mexican Pesos)
can be imposed.
Sanctions may be doubled for any of the above infractions committed in the treatment of sensitive data.
The PDP Law introduces penalties for legal entities and responsible persons in legal entities in case of acting contrary to the provisions of the PDP Law.
It imposes monetary fines for the violations of the legal entity in the range between RSD 50,000 and RSD 2m (EUR 450 to 16,000) and for the responsible person in legal entity in the range between RSD 5,000 and RSD 150,000 (EUR 40 to EUR 1,200).
The legal entity may also have to pay a fine of up to 10% of an undertaking’s income realised in Serbia in the previous year, in case of not applying or infringing the data protection authority’s order of limitation on processing or suspension of data flows.
The Serbian Criminal Act prescribes the unauthorised collection of the personal data as a felony. Therefore, it cannot be excluded that natural person who acts contrary to the provisions of the PDP Law, would be subject to potential criminal liability.
Reimbursement of potential damages (material and non-material)
5. Registration / notification / authorisation
The Data Protection Legislation does not require prior notification or registration for any data processing activities.
6. Main obligations and processing requirements
The Data Protection Law recognises two parties who deal with personal data:
Data Processors: the subject or legal entity that processes personal data on behalf of the Data Controller.
Data Controller: the subject or legal entity that decides on the processing of personal data.
Their relationship must be established through contractual clauses or other legal instruments in a way that proves the existence, scope and nature of such relationship.
According to the Data Protection Legislation, the principles that must be observed by controllers and/or processors in the processing of personal data are the following:
Legitimacy: Personal data must be collected and processed in a lawful manner;
Consent: The data subject must give its consent for the processing of its personal data;
Information: Through a Privacy Notice, the Data Controller must inform the data subject about the existence and the characteristics of their personal data processing;
Quality: This principle is given when the personal data is provided directly by the data subject; if not, the Data Controller must take the measurements to meet the quality principle and adopt mechanisms that are considered necessary to ensure that the data is accurate, complete, updated and correct;
Purpose: Personal data can only be processed for the purposes established in the Privacy Note.
Loyalty: Personal data must be processed safeguarding the protection of the data subjects’ interests and the reasonable expectation of privacy;
Responsibility: Data Controllers must ensure the processing of personal data in their custody, as well as the data transferred to a Data Processor.
Additionally, the following legal requirements should be taken into account when processing personal data:
Personal data must be collected and processed in a lawful manner in accordance with the provisions established by the Data Protection Legislation and other applicable regulations;
Personal data must not be obtained through deceptive or fraudulent means;
In all processing of personal data, it is presumed that there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, understood as the trust any one person places in another for personal data provided to be treated pursuant to any agreement of the parties in the terms established by the Law;
Personal data should not be kept for any longer than is necessary in order to comply with the purposes for which the personal data was originally held. Data Controllers must establish and document retention procedures, including deletion and/or blocking of personal data, taking the nature of the data into account.
Maintaining records of processing activities;
Implementing appropriate technical, organisational and human resources measures;
Cooperating with the Commissioner;
Appropriate legal grounds for processing;
Complying with restrictions on transfers of personal data;
Appointing a Data Protection Officer, where applicable;
Notifying personal data breaches to Data Subject and Commissioner, in accordance with PDP Law;
Conducting Data Protection Impact Assessment, where applicable;
To enable the Data Subject’s rights in accordance with PDP Law
7. Data subject rights
All data subjects are entitled to exercise rights of access, rectification, cancellation and objection regarding their personal data (collectively known as ARCO rights). These rights are not mutually exclusive.
Right of Access
The data subject is entitled to access its personal data held by the Data Controller, as well as information regarding the conditions and generalities of the processing.
Right of Rectification
Data subjects may request, at any time, that Data Controllers rectify personal data if it is inaccurate or incomplete.
Right of Cancellation
Data subjects have the right to cancel (i.e. seek erasure of) its personal data. There are certain situations where Data Controllers have the right to object to such erasure (e.g. if required by applicable law or public interest).
Right of Objection
Data Subjects may, at any time, oppose the processing of their personal data for legitimate purposes.
Data subject has the following rights:
to be informed;
to rectification and supplement;
to erasure of personal data;
to restriction of processing;
to personal data portability; and
8. Processing by third parties
According to the Data Protection Law, if the Data Controllers intend to transfer personal data to third parties, it must provide them with a Privacy Notice and the purposes to which the data subject has limited data processing. The data subject must consent to such transfer via the Privacy Notice.
Data Processors must obtain permission from Data Controllers if subcontracting may involve the subcontractor processing personal data. Once consent is obtained, the Data Processor must enter into a contract with the subcontractor.
The subcontractor will assume the same obligations required for Data Processors under the Data Protection Legislation and other applicable law.
The Data Processor’s right to subcontract processing activities should be outlined in the contract between the Data Controller and Data Processor. If this right is not covered in that contract, the Data Processor must seek specific consent from the Data Controller in order to subcontract processing activities.
Where the processor engages another sub-processor the same data protection obligations as set out in the PDP Law or Data Protection Agreement signed between the controller and the processor is imposed on that sub-processor by way of an agreement or other legal act signed between processor and sub-processor in particular providing sufficient guarantees to implement appropriate technical, organisational and human resources measures in such a manner that the processing will meet the requirements of the PDP Law. In the situation where the sub-processor fails to fulfil its personal data protection obligations, the initial processor shall remain fully liable to the controller for the performance of that sub-processor’s obligations.
9. Transfers out of country
International transfers of personal data must be consented to by the data subject and the purposes of such transfers must be included in the Privacy Notice. Such consent is not required where the transfer is:
pursuant to a Law or Treaty to which Mexico is party;
necessary for medical diagnosis or prevention, healthcare delivery, medical treatment or health services management;
made to holding companies, subsidiaries or affiliates under common control of the Data Controller, or to a parent company or any company of the same group as the Data Controller, operating under the same internal processes and policies;
necessary by virtue of a contract executed or to be executed in the interest of the data subject between the Data Controller and a third party;
necessary or legally required to safeguard public interest or for the administration of justice;
necessary for the recognition, exercise or defence of a right in a judicial proceeding; or
necessary to maintain or fulfil a legal relationship between the Data Controller and the data subject.
Data transfer to the countries not specified in the PDP Law or in the “white list”, is allowed only if the controller/processor has ensured appropriate safeguards, prescribed by the PDP Law, and on condition that enforceable data subject rights and effective legal remedies for data subjects are available.
The following are considered to be appropriate safeguards under the PDP Law:
A legally binding and enforceable instrument between public authorities or bodies;
Standard Data Protection clauses adopted by the Commissioner that regulate the legal relationship of the Controller and the Processor;
Binding corporate rules approved by the Commissioner;
An approved code of conduct with binding and enforceable commitments of the controller/processor in the third country to apply the appropriate safeguards, or an approved certification mechanism.
10. Data Protection Officer
Data Controllers must appoint a Data Protection Officer (or equivalent role) to deal with data subjects’ requests and promote data protection compliance within the Data Controller’s organisation.
The controllers and processors are required to designate a data protection officer (“DPO“), if: (a) the processing is carried out by a public authority, (b) the core activities of the controller/processor require the regular and systematic monitoring of data subjects on a large scale, or the large scale processing of special categories of personal data – e.g. health data or trade union memberships, or criminal convictions/offences data.
Data Controllers and Data Processors are required to establish and maintain administrative and physical, security and, if applicable, technical measures for the protection of personal data.
In developing security measures, the data controller should take at least the following into account:
the inherent risk given the type of personal data;
the sensitivity of the personal data;
the potential consequences of a breach for data subjects;
the number of data subjects;
prior vulnerabilities in the processing systems;
value of the data for an unauthorised third party; and
other factors that may impact the level of risk or that result from other applicable laws and regulations.
The Data Protection Regulation also sets out actions that Data Controllers can take in order to comply with the security requirements:
prepare an inventory of personal data;
determine the functions and obligations of the person(s) who will process personal data;
conduct a risk analysis of personal data consisting of identifying dangers and estimating the risks;
establish the necessary security measures;
identify gaps between existing security measures and those required for each type of data and each processing system;
prepare a work plan based on the gap analysis in (v) above;
carry out revisions and/or audits;
train personnel who process personal data; and
keep a record of the methods of processing personal data.
Data controllers and data processors shall take all necessary technical, human resources and organisational measures to protect data in accordance with the established standards and procedures in order to protect data from loss, damage, inadmissible access, modification, publication and any other abuse, as well as to provide for an obligation of keeping data confidentiality for all persons who work on data processing.
12. Breach notification
There are no requirements for Data Controllers to notify the INAI in the event of a data breach (other than Data Controllers which are government entities). However, Data Controllers must notify data subjects if their personal data is subject to a breach with at least the following information:
nature of the breach;
the personal data compromised;
recommendations of actions that may be taken by the data subject to protect its interests;
immediate measures being taken by the data controller; and
any means by which the individual can find further information regarding the matter.
If data breach may create a risk to rights and freedoms of natural persons, the controller must notify the Commissioner without undue delay and, not later than 72 hours after becoming aware of the breach.
If data breach may create a high risk to the rights and freedoms of natural person, the controller is obliged to notify the affected data subject without undue delay.
13. Direct marketing
Personal data can be processed for advertising and marketing purposes in accordance with the Data Protection Legislation, provided that these purposes are made clear in the Privacy Notice and in any other medium required for communicating the processing purposes.
A prior information consent of a data subject (a natural person) is required in case of direct marketing (via mail, email, phone, etc.). The data subject must be able to withdraw consent at any time. If the data subject no longer wants to receive advertising messages, the advertiser must stop direct marketing.
These rules do not apply to natural persons who perform business activity in relation to such business activity.
14. Cookies and adtech
When the Data Controller uses remote or local mechanisms for electronic, optical or other forms of technological communication which allow collection of personal data automatically and simultaneously to the time the data subject has contact with such communications mechanisms, the data subject must be informed about the use of these technologies, at the time the data subject makes contact with the technology and must be informed of the obtention of personal data as well as the way in which the cookies can be disabled.
Not regulated, so general personal data protection rules apply.
15. Risk scale
16. Useful links
Federal Law on the Protection of Personal Data held by Private Parties and its supplementary regulation.
There is currently no specific federal cybersecurity law in force in Mexico.
Cybersecurity is regulated in the Federal Criminal Code, the Data Protection Legislation and other sector-specific legislation applicable to entities operating within those sectors (e.g. the Fintech Law). Specific cybersecurity measures are normally regulated through tertiary regulatory instruments such as manuals, official operating parameters and guides.
The Law on Information Security (“Official Gazette of RS", Nos. 6/2016, 94/2017 and 77/2019”) (“Law”)
2. Anticipated changes to local laws
A National Cybersecurity Strategy document was published in 2017, but since the change in government in December 2018, there has not been much progress in terms of actual regulation.
In February 2020, a Mexican Senator submitted a bill proposing amendments to the Data Protection Law (the “DP Bill”).
The DP Bill proposed implementing best practices with respect to cybersecurity but made no specific recommendations.
There have been no developments regarding the DP Bill since it was announced in February 2020.
There are no anticipated changes.
There is no indication of when (or if) the DP Bill will be passed into law or if the National Cybersecurity Strategy will be progressed.
The Law specifies measures for the protection from security risks in information and communications systems, the liability of legal entities during management and use of information and communications systems and designates competent authorities responsible for the execution of protection measures, coordination between protection factors and monitoring of the proper application of the prescribed protection measures, software and software development tools.
The primary authority in charge of responding to any issue regarding cybersecurity is the National Guard (previously Federal Police, now formally though not materially fully integrated into the National Guard) and the Ministry of Public Security. Additional to this, there are other local authorities in some regions, such as the Police for the Prevention of Cybercrimes in Mexico City.
The INAI is responsible for overseeing data security breaches in general.
There are other authorities that could have jurisdiction regarding sector-specific cybersecurity breaches e.g. the Mexican Securities and Exchange Commission or Mexico’s Central Bank in case of cybersecurity breaches in the banking and financial sector.
Given there is no legislation specifically regulating cybersecurity, companies operating in sectors that do not have their own cybersecurity requirements are not subject to any particular obligations. Similarly, there is no obligation to report cyber incidents to the authorities. However, gaining access or trying to access a protected system is considered a crime in Mexico and therefore the offended party has the capacity to report the crime to Federal Prosecutors.
With respect to personal data, under the Data Protection Legislation, every organisation must implement corrective and preventive measures to improve security and avoid the violation personal data rights.
Adopting an internal by-law on security of information and communication system and implementing security measures
Need to appoint a person or organisational unit for security supervision of information and communication system
Need to provide a report on internal control of information and communication system
Mandatory reporting of incidents related to information and communication system
6. Sanctions & non-compliance
Even though there is no definition of “cybercrime”, the Federal Criminal Code sanctions some behaviours that can be identified as cybercrimes, such as hacking, phishing, infections of IT systems with malware, identity theft or fraud. These illegal behaviours can be punished with prison sentences and a range of fines, depending on the severity of the crime.
Fine of up to RSD 2m (EUR 16,800) for a legal entity and up to RSD 50,000 (approx. EUR 400) for a responsible person within the legal entity.
Reimbursement of the potential damages (material and non-material)
7. Is there a national computer emergency response team (CERT) or computer security incident response team (CSIRT)?
The authority responsible for the prevention and response of any cybersecurity issue is the National Response Centre for Cyber Incidents of the Federal Police (now formally incorporated to the National Guard) or CERT-MX. This body is in charge of preventing and mitigating any threat to technological infrastructure and operability in Mexico. Additionally, the INAI is responsible for supervising compliance with legislation regarding personal data protection.
Yes. Tasks of the national CERT are assigned to the Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services (RATEL).
8. National cybersecurity incident management structure
The CERT-MX is responsible for dealing with any cybersecurity incidents, but only after a specific request, complaint or demand is submitted. The INAI can also initiate investigations regarding the protection of personal data.
The Serbian Government established a body to coordinate work on information security and adopted a Decree on the procedure for Notifying on Incidents relating to Information and Communication System of Particular Importance.
9. Other cybersecurity initiatives
In the private sector, the Mexican Association for Cybersecurity offers services and products regarding cybersecurity and data protection. It also encourages the protection of information and proper information handling.