(Updates with details on case, context)
MEXICO CITY, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Mexico’s federal transparency body said on Tuesday it had initiated proceedings to impose sanctions on the Mexican unit of Google Inc for possible breach of the country’s data protection law.
The Federal Institute for Information Access and Data Protection (IFAI) said it had taken the step following a request from an unidentified person who had asked Google Mexico to erase his personal data from the search engine and to stop using it.
In a statement, the IFAI said it received the request in September 2014 after Google Mexico ignored the person’s wishes.
The institute noted that in December 2014 it had tried to make the company comply with the request. But that failed, it said, after the company argued that its parent Google Inc and not Google Mexico was responsible for the search engine.
The IFAI, which rejected that argument, did not provide details on the person who made the complaint, or what sanctions it was considering imposing on Google Mexico.
Google Mexico could not immediately be reached for comment.
According to Mexican law, the first sanctions applied to those in breach of data protection laws force them to comply with the government’s order. Failing that, they can face a series of fines of up to 22.4 million pesos ($1.53 million).
The Mexican case follows complaints by Internet users against Google over data protection in a number of countries.
In an effort to tighten privacy laws, European Union ministers in June agreed that companies based outside the bloc such as Google must meet Europe’s data protection rules.
$1 = 14.6345 Mexican pesos Reporting by Dave Graham and Tomas Sarmiento