Remember that during the initial lockdown, the Home Office did not hesitate to use drones to assist the authorities in enforcing the measures that were being imposed. Although these drones weren’t primarily useful, some of them were still roaming the streets of Paris to check that containment was being followed. These machines were equipped with cameras, which posed a confidentiality problem.
The drones used make it possible to clearly identify a person.
This week the CNIL returned to this event and decided to sanction the Ministry of the Interior. The National Commission on Informatics and Freedoms accuses the Ministry of Interior of using licensed surveillance drones with cameras. The CNIL then states that it is now strictly forbidden to use a drone until a perfect legal framework allows this practice. The Commission is therefore calling for the Interior Ministry to end the use of drones, also to monitor containment, while a regulation is in place or technology is used to prevent the identification of passers-by.
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“In July 2020, the CNIL visited the premises of the Paris police headquarters and had a test flight carried out with one of the drones used for the purposes mentioned above. On that occasion, she found that the people who were filmed with this type of device were likely identified. Taking the view that this processing of personal data was not based on any legal basis, the President of the CNIL decided to initiate sanctions proceedings against the Ministry. “ writes the CNIL in its report.
During the first detention, Paris was not the only city in France affected by this practice. The Ministry of the Interior has used drones in at least 15 metropolitan areas without anyone being able to oppose this data collection. It is impossible to determine whether this decision is linked to the arrival of a third party. However, the CNIL, which cannot fine the state, is content to ask the Interior Ministry.