The personal information of over 300 journalists accredited to cover the morning press conferences of Mexico’s President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, was leaked on the internet, as reported by the organization Article 19 on Friday.
“Article 19 confirmed from various sources the dissemination of journalists’ personal data on an online forum. This database allegedly collects accreditations of those attending the morning conferences of the Government of Mexico,” the organization stated on its X account.
📣 ARTICLE 19 corroboró con diversas fuentes la difusión de datos personales de periodistas en un foro en línea.
Esta base de datos recaba presuntamente las acreditaciones de quienes atienden a las Conferencias Matutinas del @GobiernoMX.
Los datos incluyen nombres, contactos,…
— ARTICLE 19 MX-CA (@article19mex) January 26, 2024
According to Article 19, the leaked data includes names, contacts, identifications, photographs, and other attachments, which, according to the organization, “not only violates their dignity and privacy but also their physical security.” Mexico is considered one of the most lethal countries against the press, with 163 journalists killed and 32 missing.
The organization mentioned that the duration and the exact number of affected individuals are currently unknown, though some reports suggest it could be over 300.
In response, Article 19 urged journalists who have attended the morning conferences in recent years, known as “mañaneras,” to activate security protocols and take necessary precautions. They also called on the Mexican government to clarify the measures taken to prevent the breach of personal data, particularly those in the management system.
Additionally, they requested information on preventive actions to avoid harm with the leaked data and what compensatory and corrective measures would be implemented. Article 19 emphasized the urgent need for the government to inform promptly the affected individuals about immediate and definitive corrective actions.
After the leak was revealed, the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information, and Personal Data Protection (INAI) stated that a technical analysis of the publicly available information on the potential personal data leak had already been initiated.
López Obrador’s Morning Press Conferences
Since taking office in December 2018, López Obrador has adopted an unprecedented way of governing through his daily press conferences, known as “mañaneras,” which last for more than two hours each day.
The significance of these morning conferences is such that, on most days, López Obrador has no other public agenda. His entire focus is on the morning conferences starting at 7:00 a.m. after a 6:00 a.m. security committee meeting.
These press conferences have faced criticism from organizations advocating for press freedom due to attacks against critical journalists. The opposition also accuses López Obrador of using the press conferences to spread propaganda and misinformation.