France: the CNIL calls on the government on the effectiveness of the health pass

The CNIL alerts the government to the respect for the protection of personal data of an application such as TousAntiCovid (illustrative image).

© AFP / Damien Meyer

Text by: Dominique Desaunay Follow

3 min

The National Commission for Informatics and Freedoms (Cnil) issued its fourth opinion on Tuesday on the measures implemented to fight against Covid-19.

It challenges the government on the need to produce elements allowing the full effectiveness of the measures implemented to be assessed.


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In the publication of

its fourth opinion on the measures

implemented to fight against Covid-19, the Cnil is raising its tone against the government. It mentions 42 controls of the various systems put in place since March 2020 and ten since last summer. It mainly underlines the lack of concrete information communicated by the government, in particular around the sanitary pass. "

The Commission insists on the need that the elements which make it possible to assess the effectiveness of the systems be quickly transmitted to it, in order to continue the exercise of its mission


If your computer processing and your devices aimed at fighting a pandemic are not effective, you cannot justify the need to implement them. The CNIL has formed an opinion of this legitimacy in its opinion, with regard to effectiveness. She believes that if these devices do not prove their efficiency, it is therefore not legitimate to implement them,

 ”explains Maitre Merav Griguer, associate lawyer at Bird & Bird, specialist in digital issues and law. the protection of personal data. 


 The stake is still colossal, because it is the responsibility of the government to justify of a quality in the management of the data of the individuals," she continues.

And when we remember the episode of the violation of confidential information collected by the APHP, the Cnil must today be even more vigilant.

However, I believe that the occurrence of the fifth wave of the epidemic is currently working more in favor of the government.


The last checks carried out in July and September

The last checks of

the TousAntiCovid mobile application

were carried out in July and September 2021. They revealed the existence of data transfers from users of the application outside the European Union during the conversion of the electronic certificate to the format. European. But once alerted, the Ministry of Solidarity and Health immediately corrected these errors. On the other hand, several patient monitoring systems have identified dysfunctions. They mainly concern the security of users' personal data or an excessively long retention of information on the health of individuals.

This is the case with the “Covidom Covisan” device, which enables home medical monitoring or support in isolation. The Commission announces a fifth control operation for the end of 2021, this time relating to " 

the retention period, deletion and anonymization of data

". The results of its investigations will be communicated in its next opinion. Since the summer,

the CNIL has

asked the executive that the measures to fight the pandemic be limited in time. She recommends deleting "

as soon as possible

" all the personal data of French citizens used in all the documents and anti-Covid devices that were created in an emergency, according to her, to deal with the health crisis.  


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