Skip to main content
European Commission logo
IP Helpdesk
News blog3 July 2024European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency5 min read

Data Protection in Mexico: Federal Law for the Protection of Personal Data Held by Private Parties (FLPPDHPP)

Map Mexico

Gergana Dimitrova

IP expert at the Latin America IP SME Helpdesk


In today's digital age, where businesses rely heavily on customer data, navigating the legal landscape of data protection can be challenging, especially when expanding into new markets. If you're an EU SME operating in or looking to tap into the Mexican market, understanding the Federal Law for the Protection of Personal Data Held by Private Parties (“FLPPDHPP” - wow, that’s a mouthful!) is crucial.

This article will guide you through everything you need to know about data privacy regulations in Mexico, including its key points, how it compares to the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and why it's important for your business.


Differences between the GDPR vs FLPPDHPP

The GDPR is a globally recognised standard for data protection. However, Mexico's data privacy legislation is a robust framework tailored to its unique regulatory landscape. While both regulations share core principles, such as data subject rights and transparency, significant differences are worth noting.

Mexico has taken a distinctive approach to data protection by issuing separate laws for private entities and public authorities. This has resulted in two systems that regulate the same rights but apply different rules based on the type of data controller involved.

In Mexico, there are two main laws for personal data protection:

  1. Federal Law on the Protection of Personal Data Held by Private Parties (FLPPDHPP) and its regulations, which govern data processing by private companies and individuals.
  2. General Law on the Protection of Personal Data Held by Mandated Parties, which applies to data processing by federal authorities, entities, bodies, agencies of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, autonomous bodies, political parties, trusts, and public funds.

Additionally, 32 local laws complement the General Law, each applicable to state and municipal entities.

Here's a table to break down the key differences between the GDPR and FLPPDHPP for easy comparison:


Territorial ScopeThis applies to all processing of the personal data of individuals in the EU, regardless of the controller's locationThis applies to the processing of personal data when the controller or processor is located in Mexico, with limited exceptions.
Data Subject RightsComprehensive rights include access, rectification, erasure, restriction, portability, and objection.Consent is the preferred basis, but there are broader exemptions.
Legal Basis for ProcessingRequires a lawful basis: consent, contract, legal obligation, vital interests, public task, or legitimate interests.Primarily based on explicit consent with clear purpose specification.
International Data TransfersStrict limitations on transferring data outside the EU.Requires informed consent for transfers, but with less stringent conditions.
Registration RequirementsNo mandatory registration with data protection authorities.No mandatory registration requirement.
Supervisory AuthorityNational Data Protection Authorities in each EU member stateNational Institute for Transparency, Access to Information, and Protection of Personal Data (INAI).
PenaltiesFines up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover.Sanctions range from compliance requirements to fines between USD 470 and USD 1 502 000, with higher penalties for repeat violations. These are in addition to any civil or criminal liabilities resulting from the violation.
Data Protection Officer (DPO)All organisations should have someone, who is tasked with monitoring GDPR compliance. Hiring an actual DPO is only required if you meet certain criteria. All Controllers must appoint a DPO or department responsible for personal data procedures and implementing good data protection practices.
Security MeasuresRequires implementation of appropriate technical and organizational measures.Similar requirements for robust security measures to protect data.

As you can see, the FLPPDHPP aligns with the GDPR in many aspects. However, the limited territorial scope and the existence of criminal sanctions in Mexico are noteworthy distinctions.


The Role of the INAI: Mexico's Data Protection Watchdog

The National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information, and Protection of Personal Data (INAI, by its acronym in Spanish) plays a critical role in enforcing the FLPPDHPP. Think of them as the guardians of Mexican personal data privacy. Their responsibilities include:

  • Conducting investigations into alleged data protection violations.
  • Reviewing and potentially sanctioning organisations that fail to comply with the FLPPDHPP.
  • Authorising, overseeing, and revoking the certifications of entities that help businesses comply with the law.

The INAI works alongside the Ministry of Economy, which focuses on educating businesses about their data protection obligations and issuing guidelines for the content and scope of Privacy Notices. These notices, similar to privacy policies in the EU, inform individuals about how their data is collected, used, and protected.


Why Should EU SMEs Care About the FLPPDHPP?

Here's why understanding the FLPPDHPP is crucial for EU SMEs entering the Mexican market:

  • Compliance is Mandatory: Failure to comply with the FLPPDHPP can result in hefty fines and reputational damage. In addition, if the violation is serious enough, you can even go to jail for up to five years!
  • Building Trust with Customers: Demonstrating your commitment to data privacy builds trust and increases customer loyalty. Mexican consumers, just like their European counterparts, are increasingly aware of their data rights.
  • Competitive Advantage: By taking data protection seriously, you can differentiate yourself from competitors who might not be as compliant.


Best Practices for Data Protection in Mexico

While compliance is essential, here are some additional tips for EU SMEs operating in Mexico:

  • Adopt International Standards: Aligning with international standards like the GDPR can simplify compliance. It ensures that your data protection practices are robust and globally recognised.
  • Conduct Regular Audits: Regular audits help identify and rectify compliance issues.
  • Train Employees: Regular training sessions ensure that employees understand their obligations under both the GDPR and the FLPPDHPP.
  • Update Privacy Notices: Keep your privacy notices up-to-date and easily accessible.
  • Data Encryption: Implement robust security measures to protect personal data from unauthorised access, disclosure, alteration, or destruction. Encryption is a powerful tool to protect data. It ensures that even if data is intercepted, it remains unreadable to unauthorised parties.
  • Anonymisation and Pseudonymisation: These techniques help protect personal data by making it difficult to identify individuals from the data alone. They are particularly useful in reducing risks associated with data breaches.
  • Data Minimisation: Collect only the personal data you absolutely need for legitimate business purposes. Don't be a data hoarder!

Remember, data protection is an ongoing process, not a one-time fix.

Understanding the FLPPDHPP is crucial for EU SMEs venturing into the Mexican market. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can ensure compliance, build trust with your customers, and gain a competitive edge.


Contact us

Do you have further questions about data protection in Mexico or need assistance navigating the FLPPDHPP? The Latin America IP SME Helpdesk is here to assist you. Contact us today to speak with an IP expert and ensure your Mexican operations are compliant.