Mexico Fingerprinting Cellphone Users to Crack Down on Kidnapping

In an effort to prevent criminals from using prepaid cellphones to extort money and negotiate kidnapping ransoms, Mexico is requiring that all mobile phone companies build up a database on their clients.

Starting in April, anyone purchasing a phone in Mexico will be fingerprinted and their call logs, text and voice messages will be archived for a year. These seem like strict measures, but hundreds of tourists are kidnapped in Mexico each year and the problem is getting worse. In fact, some believe these measures don't go far enough:

Billionaire Carlos Slim, who controls Mexico's No. 1 cell phone operator America Movil, said the law would be more useful if it tracked the movements of cell phone users. "What needs to be done is another type of more effective measures."

Either way, will these steps do much to prevent you from being nabbed while visiting on Spring break? I doubt it. Mexico's corrupt bureaucracy is legendary. At most it would amount to a minor obstacle that could be easily remedied with a little extra cash. [Yahoo Tech]