La Quadrature du Net attacks the government.

The association for the defense of digital freedoms has decided to attack what it presents as the "four pillars" of a "mass surveillance system": "video surveillance", "automated behavior detection" , “logging” and “facial recognition”.

The latter launched a site on Tuesday ( with a view to filing a collective complaint against the Ministry of the Interior.

On the platform, people can fill out a form giving them a mandate to file a complaint with the National Commission for Computing and Liberties (CNIL).

“No one knows it exists”

La Quadrature is inspired by the collective complaints it filed in 2018 against Gafam, based on the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

These proceedings, filed on behalf of 12,000 signatories, resulted in heavy fines against Google and Amazon of 50 and 746 million euros respectively.

Beyond the complaint and the number of signatures that will be collected, the objective is also to "make these technologies visible" and "put the subject in the public debate", in particular in the context of possible legislative developments in the field. security for the 2024 Olympic Games in France, explains Noémie Levain, lawyer at La Quadrature.

“Whether it's facial recognition or algorithmic video surveillance that are about to be legalized, nobody knows it exists.

We don't talk about it, apart from a few specialists, ”she adds.

The number of cameras “exploded”

In detail, the association plans to attack video surveillance in its complaint, ensuring that the number of cameras “has exploded”, “while their effect on crime is minimal”.

A “lack of necessity” which “makes them legally illegal”, argues La Quadrature, demanding the withdrawal of all the cameras (“more than a million”) deployed in public space.

It also attacks police files TAJ (processing of criminal records), which includes "eight million" photos of faces and TES (secure electronic titles) where is "the face of anyone applying for an identity card or passport ".

Denouncing the “excess” of these files, she asks for the “deletion” of the photos they contain.

The association will also ask the CNIL to "end" the use by the police of facial recognition software.

Finally, she denounces “algorithmic video surveillance”, which “deploys in cities in a hyper opaque way”, but will not attack it directly in the complaint, legal actions already taking place at the local level.

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  • Justice

  • Internet

  • Camera

  • Video surveillance

  • Facial recognition

  • Personal data

  • GDPR

  • Complaint