The IAPA Alarmed by the Leak of Journalists' Personal Data in Mexico

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Miami (January 29, 2024) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) expressed concern about the violation of personal data belonging to more than 300 Mexican journalists who covered the morning press conferences of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and called for a timely investigation to determine responsibilities.

At the end of last week, a cybersecurity expert warned of the leakage on clandestine internet forums of the database from the Presidential Press Accreditation System, containing personal information of around 323 national and international journalists who have attended President López Obrador's daily morning press conferences, known as the "manañeras."

"This is an act that violates the privacy of the affected journalists and puts their integrity at great risk," said Roberto Rock, president of the IAPA and director of the Mexican portal La Silla Rota. Rock added that "authorities must conduct a thorough investigation to determine how the leak occurred, who is responsible, and apply the subsequent sanctions, as well as ensure the security of those affected."

The leaked data includes names, emails, phone numbers, addresses, dates of birth, passport numbers, identifications, Federal Taxpayer Registry, among other personal information of the journalists, as reported by the Mexican press.

The president of the IAPA's Commission on Press Freedom and Information, Carlos Jornet, editor of the Argentine newspaper La Voz del Interior, warned that "the disclosure of journalists' private information needs to be taken seriously and responsibly, but this is particularly delicate in Mexico, one of the most dangerous countries for the press in the hemisphere."

The IAPA executives emphasized that the protection of personal data and people's privacy are fundamental rights, and their illegal use and deliberate dissemination must be investigated, with those responsible being prosecuted.

Mexico ranks 15th in the Chapultepec Index, an annual barometer of the IAPA measuring the state of press freedom in 22 countries in the Americas. Factors that contribute to the deteriorating press freedom environment include murders of journalists, verbal and physical assaults, stigmatization from the executive branch, and violence in different regions, leading to internal displacement and exile of journalists.

IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It comprises more than 1,300 publications from the western hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.

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