The French data protection authority (CNIL) released - on 19 May 2014 - its 2013 Annual Report, detailing its activities for the past year. Additionally, the CNIL published its 2014 strategy on 29 April 2014, outlining the key focus areas in the year ahead. The CNIL stated that it aims to increase privacy audits from 414 in 2013 to 550 in 2014 - an increase of 33%.
A Paris court has ruled that it has the legal authority to judge a case against Facebook, which blocked the account of a French teacher who posted an image of a vulva.
The court ruled that the case came under its jurisdiction and Facebook’s clause forcing all users to agree that any litigation must be based in California, where the site is based, was “abusive”.
Facebook is being sued by a French man whose account was blocked after he posted a 19th-century picture by Gustave Courbet, The Origin of the World, depicting a vulva.
The recent terrorist attacks in Europe have led to many statements implying the necessity of limiting citizens’ fundamental rights to ensure public safety. At the European level we are faced with the alarming prospect of air passenger data (Passenger Name Records, PNR) collection and long-term storage, while in France the legislative mills are turning even faster.
Last week, the French government enacted a decree that enables the de-listing of websites from search engines without any judicial oversight. The decree targets websites that distribute child abuse content as well as sites that incite or endorse terrorism. This comes only a month after another decree that enabled the administrative blocking of websites.
President Francois Hollande said Tuesday in Paris the government will present a draft law next month that makes Internet operators “accomplices” of hate-speech offenses if they host extremist messages. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he will travel to the U.S. to seek help from the heads of Twitter Inc. and Microsoft Corp. as well as Google and Facebook. Spokesmen for the companies did not immediately return requests for comment.
France's government is pressing a surveillance bill that would give French intelligence services legal backing to vacuum up metadata in hopes of preventing an imminent terror attack.
The bill "would pave the way for extremely intrusive surveillance practices with no judicial pre-authorization," the organization Amnesty International said in a statement.
The bill was proposed long before the deadly Paris attacks by Islamic extremists earlier this year, but the government says it takes on added urgency with each person who radicalizes and turns against France.