France imposed Europe’s toughest measures in response to the virus last year and was initially equipped with helicopters and drones to check compliance. The drones were installed to detect offenders, blocking navigation teams on the ground, and to announce warnings via speakers.
But privacy activists fear that monitoring the drone could serve as an experiment for an increasingly expanding surveillance program. The concerns raised legal challenges and a ruling by France̵7;s Supreme Court in May to suspend its practice in Paris.
The privacy group said the French authorities continued despite the sentencing. But drones were still installed in protest.
The CNIL decision, which significantly increased the stake in the French government due to its national force, comes amid a wider tug of war between privacy activists and European authorities on how. Police Corona Limiting The debate has taken place around the world in recent months as leaders and powers in many countries are accused of using the epidemic as an excuse to expand their power. But Europe’s extensive privacy laws put civil liberties activists in a stronger position than activists elsewhere.
After Belgian police forces said last month it would use drones with thermal cameras to monitor the end of the year celebrations in people’s homes, privacy activists opposed the plan. Later, the Belgian College of Prosecutors ruled that drones should not be used to suppress coronavirus violations, although it could still be used to remotely assess crowd size.
In Germany and Austria, most privacy concerns centered around police access to private homes to enforce the coronavirus rule. Both countries have the high burden of proof required for officials to be able to get into their homes, and lawmakers in Germany rush to reassure citizens that this won’t change. After criticism, the Austrian government has abandoned efforts to change the law.
European governments have faced a similar problem in the context of smartphone apps to track contacts of infected people. Authorities hope the app will become an important tool in controlling the spread of the virus. But privacy concerns prevented health workers from having access to data and reducing people’s willingness to download technology.The restrictions have upset users and health agencies, one German health worker called the app. Of his country said “Useless”
In a joint statement in November, several UN agencies, including the World Health Organization, offered cautious support for countries that rely heavily on data collection during the outbreak, claiming that “Collecting, using, sharing and further processing of information can help limit the spread of the virus,” but the agency warned that the collection of personal information could result in a “virus attack.” “Violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms”.
In France, authorities have faced a number of setbacks over privacy issues since the pandemic began. Last summer, the Paris Transport Authority suspended efforts to use AI technology to determine if Metro drivers are wearing masks. France’s privacy watchdog has criticized the trial, arguing that it risks “A feeling of general vigilance among the people” that could “undermine the proper functioning of our democratic society”
Although the cameras were installed for experimental purposes and not used to impose fines, CNIL objected that there was no way people would opt out of video.
The drone’s ruling on drones is based on similar concerns.
It means that officials will no longer be allowed to use drones to monitor protesters until CNIL concerns are resolved, a stance that could lead the authorities directly to oppose the government’s proposal to expand its use. work The proposal is part of a broadly controversial broad security bill in France for weeks, seen by critics as a threat to the country’s rights and freedoms.
The bill, which received a preliminary green light at the French National Assembly last year, will be discussed in the French Senate this month.