SAT and RFC for over 18s: surveillance to satisfy Big Brother

The idea that all those over 18 years of age in Mexico have their Federal Taxpayers Registry (RFC) is much more than the simple search for fiscal control of the tax authorities over citizens. Forcing everyone to have an RFC is part of the federal government’s efforts to build a matrix for massive and indiscriminate surveillance, in line with the digital registry of citizens promoted by the Ministry of the Interior and the construction of a national data registry biometric of mobile phone users.

The steps to build that hypervigilance environment have been taken gradually. The government of the so-called “fourth transformation” —the slogan of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to identify his administration— has shown enormous creativity to overcome the ideas and legislation of the governments of Felipe Calderón Hinojosa and Enrique Peña Nieto.

Not only that: López Obrador’s collaborators are as persistent and repetitive as the president himself and they do not lose hope of keeping an eye on all citizens. Here you do not spy, here you do not spy, the President repeats over and over again, at the same time that his collaborators in the Executive and Legislative Powers advance laws, regulations and public policies of control and surveillance.

The Chamber of Deputies approved the proposal of the Tax Administration Service (SAT) to incorporate all those over 18 years of age into its databases, not as future taxpayers, but within a general plan of political and social control. Last year, the SAT requested that they approve a plan to control the private life and privacy of citizens with the photographic record of fiscal domiciles during the fiscal inspection reviews. Fortunately, the proposal was rejected in Congress.

But that year the SAT did manage to pass another aberration related to control and surveillance: that of creating a business to verify the identity of users of private services with the biometric data that we obliged to deliver to the SAT: fingerprints, irises and faces. of millions of Mexican citizens.

Among the initiatives that Minister Olga Sánchez Cordero bequeathed when she left the Ministry of the Interior (Mexico’s interior policy ministry) is to create a national identity list and even a legislative reform proposal.

The memorable reader will remember the scandal of January 2020 when Sánchez Cordero’s secretariat demanded that the National Electoral Institute (INE) hand over a copy of the citizen database that this office in charge of organizing the elections has. In the end, that delivery did not take place, because without the consent of the citizens it would constitute a violation of the law on the protection of personal data.

Those initiatives were left in the pipeline and the Mexican Government sought experts from the World Bank – an institution of perverse neoliberalism? – to analyze the creation of a “National Digital Identity System of Mexico to Facilitate Inclusion”, in fact a digital identification system with biometric data. And we are in those.

In the so-called “fourth transformation” nothing is chance. The obligation that all those over 18 years of age have the RFC will give better sales arguments to the SAT identity verification business, with a potential of 94 million records of living people, but above all it will be a new building block of the alleged citizen identification system, providing the inputs that the López Obrador government seeks so much.

The initiative on the RFC approved in Deputies will go to the Senate. Hopefully there is sanity there and this new attempt at control and surveillance will be blocked.

Jose Soto Galindo

Editor of El Economista online


Journalist. Since 2010 he has edited the digital version of El Economista in Mexico City. Master in Transparency and Protection of Personal Data from the University of Guadalajara. He specializes in telecommunications and information technology law. Your personal blog is Economicón.

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