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IV. Governance issues

Open government

The Federal Law of Transparency and Access to Public Government Information (Ley Federal de Transparencia y Acceso a la Información Pública Gubernamental, or FLTAIPG),1 in force since June 12, 2003, guarantees access to all interested individuals to the information in possession of the three branches (legislative, executive and judicial) of the Federal Union of Mexico; the constitutional autonomous entities (such as the Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos (National Commission for Human Rights), the Banco de Mexico, and the Instituto Federal Electoral); or the entities with legal autonomy (such as IFAI or the Auditoría Superior de la Federación); as well as any other federal entity. This law is compulsory for all federal public officials.

The FLTAIPG established a new government entity the Federal Institute of Access to Public Information (IFAI, or Instituto Federal de Acceso a la Información) to supervise the implementation of the law and promote the right to access information. It also adjudicates on the petitions regarding access to information and the protection of personal data in the possession of government entities and agencies. IFAI is also responsible for ensuring compliance with the privacy and data protection provisions of the FLTAIPG.2

The main contribution of the LFTAIPG has been to standardize the principles under which the diverse organs of the State shall manage citizen's personal data. The law also safeguards the principles of notice, consent, and purpose specification, and guarantees the rights of access and correction. However, the law lacks sufficient guarantees to protect the security of data processing activities, and lacks adequate enforcement mechanisms. After the LFTAIPG was enacted, new related laws were enacted as well, for all the branches of Government.3

There are administrative and judicial instances to enforce the law regarding access to government public information and personal data. In order to guarantee the minimum rights written down in the law, there are procedures to access and correct personal data, as well as to appeal for review, in both cases before an administrative instance. The data subject can use the Juicio de Amparo a safe, fast and effective procedure for persons to safeguard their constitutional individual, or an ordinary civil procedure before a court. If the Federal Personal Data Protection Law is enacted, it will introduce a procedural action, known in other countries as habeas data, from which shall derive administrative actions, and new procedures within the judicial system (Juzgados de Distrito), as well as new associated criminal provisions.

International obligations

Mexico has signed and ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant Civil and Political Rights, and the American Convention on Human Rights.4 Mexico has signed the United Nations (UN) Guidelines for the Regulation of Computerized Personal Data Files.5

Mexico is a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).6 Mexico has participated in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's (APEC) privacy initiative. Mexico is also participating in the International Implementation of the APEC Privacy Framework and development of Cross-Border Privacy Rules. Mexico chairs the Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG), through the Ministry of Finance, in which the Privacy Subgroup resides.