photo d'une caméra connectée

Connected surveillance camera: The CNIL on the lookout!

What if the surveillance of public spaces using smart cameras threatened our individual freedoms? This is a question that raises many questions both among ordinary individuals and at the level of the highest authorities of the State. The National Commission for Information Technology and Liberties (CNIL) also expressed its concerns on this subject.

Well-founded concerns

Faced with the systematic use of surveillance cameras to guarantee the security of public spaces, the CNIL encourages legislators to re-examine the texts in force. This approach aims in particular to lay the foundations for new regulations intended to preserve the privacy and personal data of citizens.

Indeed, current surveillance systems no longer only integrate cameras. They also rely on artificial intelligence, facial recognition or other new technologies to collect and use biometric data. At the dawn of the advent of “smart cities”, possible gaps in current legislation could endanger the personal data of our fellow citizens.

The CNIL’s fears are therefore entirely justified, especially since this technology is today within the reach of both private and public actors. The increased surveillance of our actions associated with the collection of biometric data can ultimately threaten our individual freedoms. Furthermore, there is no guarantee thata company unscrupulous person will not attempt to use this data for other purposes or resell it to the highest bidders. In this sense, the CNIL intends to initiate a useful process to reassure the population.

Towards a re-examination of the texts in force

The CNIL therefore calls on citizens, civil society and various stakeholders for a “democratic debate”. This step indeed seems necessary in order not to put into the background the real aspirations of citizens for the benefit of internal security. Still, this debate could be carried out through our representatives who sit in parliament.

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For the moment, the CNIL is only noting the shortcomings of current legislation. Depending on the structure, the current provisions are not appropriate for the use of new surveillance technologies. The implementation of the GDPR and the transposition of certain measures provided for by the new European regulation should also encourage legislators to re-examine existing texts. This aims to prevent any abuse in the processing of data from surveillance, but also to better secure the data.