The Apex Court of France Conseil d'État has ordered the police not to carry out surveillance measures by drone to track people flouting lockdown restrictions.
The court said that such devices cannot be used until a privacy law is made or by equipping the devices used by the prefecture of police with technical devices likely to make impossible the identification of people filmed.
Human Rights Organisations, "La Quadrature du Net" and Human Rights League had challenged the use of a device by the Police aimed at capturing images by drones to enforce the containment measures in relation to Covid-19 pandemic. These devices were used for tracking people who flout social distancing rules. They had contended that the use of drones flying over public space, without any legal framework, associated with an image capture device, constitutes processing of personal data unlawful personnel and, at the very least, serious and clearly illegal interference in the exercise of the right to respect for private life and the right to data protection personal
The court observed that there are risks of use of personal data collected by the Drone in violation of data protection rules. It said that the devices "are likely to collect identifying data and they do not contain any technical device likely to prevent, in all cases, that the information collected may lead, for the benefit of a use other than that currently practiced." It added that this leads to a serious and manifestly illegal attack on the right to respect for private life.
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