Complaint by La Quadrature du net against the Ministry of the Interior

Three complaints were filed with the CNIL, accompanied by a mandate signed by 13,000 people. The purpose of the association is to obtain the elimination of the photographs.

The association La Quadrature du net announced on Sunday that it had filed a collective complaint against the Ministry of the Interior to denounce the use of facial recognition, recording and video surveillance. These collective complaints, three in number, were filed with the National Commission for Informatics and Liberties (CNIL) after the association collected the mandate from almost 13,000 people through a signature campaign on the site complaint.technopolice.fr.

La Quadrature du net, which presents itself as a defender of fundamental freedoms in the digital environment, was inspired by the collective complaints it had filed in 2018 against Gafam based on the general data protection regulations (RGPD). These procedures had resulted in heavy fines against Google Y Amazon, respectively 50 and 746 million euros. This time, the association for the defense of digital freedoms wants to attack what it calls the “four pillars” of a “mass surveillance system“:”Video surveillance“, the “automatic behavior detection“, the “presentation” and the “facial recognition“.

In the collective complaint on video surveillance, the association, explained to AFP Noémie Levain, a jurist at La Quadrature, strives to highlight “the influence of the Ministry of the Interior in the installation of surveillance cameras (authorizations, subsidies)», then to demonstrate «how these devices are illegal because their proportionality is never justified“. The goal is to achieve the withdrawal of all cameras deployed in public space.

The second complaint refers to the TAJ (Automated Processing of Criminal Records) files, which include “eight millionof photos of faces. The third is related to the TES (Secure Electronic Values) files that include the photos of any applicant for an identity card or passport. Regarding the TAJ, the association denounces the illegality of the data collected, because “a large amount of information is not related to a legal process or is out of date“.

He also notes that police and gendarmes use it in “outside of any legal proceedings, in particular during identity checks“. Regarding the TES, the complaint denounces in particular “breach of the minister’s security obligation by choosing a centralized architecture, despite the risks of diversion“explained the lawyer. This is so that the association obtains the removal of the photos.


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