CE - 440442 & 440445
|CE - 440442 & 440445|
DIRECTIVE (EU) 2016/680 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
Loi n° 78-17 du 6 janvier 1978 relative à l'informatique, aux fichiers et aux libertés
|Parties:||La Quadrature du Net|
La Ligue des Droits de l'Homme
|National Case Number/Name:||440442 & 440445|
|European Case Law Identifier:|
|Appeal from:||TA Paris (France)|
|Appeal to:||Not appealed|
|Original Source:||CE (in French)|
The French Highest Administrative Court (CE) held that the Police Commissionner ('Prefet de Police') had to stop using drones to monitor the respect of sanitary rules in Paris. The CE stated that the use of drone by the government collected personal data without necessary measures of safeguard.
English Summary[edit | edit source]
Facts[edit | edit source]
In an appeal against the interim decision of the Administratif court of Paris, la Quadrature du Net and La Ligue des droits de l’homme seized the interim relief judge (référé liberté) to stop police forces to capture and process images of public using drones hovering over Paris streets in respect of sanitary measures justified by the exceptional circumstance of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dispute[edit | edit source]
What are the conditions for the use of drones capable of collecting personal data in public spaces for administrative police measures?
Holding[edit | edit source]
Can drones be used by police forces to collect personal data by taking close pictures of indivudals in public places ?[edit | edit source]
Appeal was formed against a first instance Administratif court that considered the drones did not collect personal data since the police guidelines did not authorise it. The CE, for its part, recalled the definition of personal data and relevant laws. The 27 April 2016 directive is applicable in that case, since it concerns « the rules relating to the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, including the safeguarding against and the prevention of threats to public security » (Article 1).
Relying on the -wide - definition of personal data outlined in Article 3(1) of the directive, the CE considered that drones were, in fact, capable of collecting such type of data. Indeed, as they are equipped with zoom and can fly at close distance, they are apt to collect personally identifiable information.
Moreover, such collection, transmission of video data to the police force and the video recording, constitute a processing of personal data as outlined in Article 3(2). Thus, the French Loi informatique et Libertés of the 6th January 1978 is applicable.
Minimum requirements under article 31 of 6th of January 1978 law[edit | edit source]
As processing of personal data by public bodies is at stake, article 31 of the French Loi informatique et Libertés of the 6th January 1978 is applicable. It « requires authorisation by order of the competent minister(s) or by decree, as the case may be, taken after a reasoned opinion has been issued and published by the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) ».
Considering that the use of drones could be contrary to data protection laws and in the absence of any legal framework, it constitute « a serious and manifestly unlawful infringement of the right to privacy ». Therefore, in order to conform, the State must either ensure anonymisation of the data or enact a decree, following a CNIL's approval. In the meantime, the use of drones is prohibited.
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English Machine Translation of the Decision[edit | edit source]
The decision below is a machine translation of the French original. Please refer to the French original for more details.