How a French radio station kept hidden files on listeners

France — Investigation

For nearly 20 years the privately-owned French radio station Europe 1 kept files and stored information on more than half a million listeners, sometimes with their details accompanied by insulting comments. This was detailed in a 2017 report by the French data watchdog the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) which has remained confidential but which has been seen by Mediapart. As a result of the report the radio station was given an official warning but the matter was never referred to the prosecution authorities, nor did Europe 1 have to pay a fine. Lou Syrah reports.

Google fined 50m euros by French data privacy watchdog

International — Link

France's data privacy watchdog, the CNIL, on Monday announced it has brought a 50-million-euro fin against US technology and internet search engine giant Google for breaching the European Union's new General Data Protection Regulation.

French state rail firm called for files on staff who are active on social media


On April 17th this year, with the rail strike in full swing, a manager at the busiest railway station in Paris, the Gare du Nord, asked colleagues to create a database on workers who were most active on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Unions have condemned the action, saying they fear the firm wants to muzzle staff involved in the industrial action, while lawyers say the move is completely illegal. The state rail company SNCF, meanwhile, dismisses it simply as a “clumsy” local initiative not connected with the strike. Dan Israel reports.

France orders WhatsApp to halt user data sharing with Facebook

France — Link

France's data protection agency CNIL has told messaging app WhatApp it must cease automatic sharing of users' data, such as phone numbers, with parent company Facebook within a month. 

France fines Facebook 150,000 euros for user privacy breaches

France — Link

The social media giant was found by France's data protection watchdog, the CNIL, to have illegally allowed information on its users to be passed on to advertisers and of tracking web browsing without sufficient warning.

French data protection watchdog slams Windows 10

International — Link

The CNIL said Microsoft was collecting 'excessive' amounts of data not needed for the software to operate, and browser spying 'without consent'.

The French government's war on encryption

France — Analysis

In recent months politicians and some senior legal figures in France have spoken out against the practice of encryption to protect people's data, emails and mobile phone calls, claiming it hampers investigations into crime and above all terrorism. Mediapart can reveal that a policy to force companies to leave so-called “backdoors” in their software to enable the security forces to bypass encryption was close to being adopted by the French government. But the data privacy watchdog in France warns that such measures would put people's computer security at even greater risk at a time of an increasing number of cyber threats. Jérôme Hourdeaux reports.

French data regulator rejects Google’s right-to-be-forgotten appeal

France — Link

Search engine’s attempt to block French order to apply delistings to its global domain, not just European sites, is rejected.

Google disobeys French request to extend ‘right to be forgotten’

France — Link

Search engine giant 'respectfully' rejects French digital watchdog ruling which said it should extend this right beyond Europe to rest of world.

French data-privacy agency tells Google to make 'right to be forgotten' global

International — Link

The CNIL told Google it must apply right to be removed from search engine listings to 'all domain names' and not only those aimed at Europe.

France's new internet anti-terror law branded 'ineffective' and 'dangerous'

France — Analysis

The French Parliament this week formally adopted a new anti-terrorism law, part of which aims to stop terrorists using the internet to attract recruits and plot attacks. It will allow the authorities to block websites that “condone terrorism” and will create a new offence of “individual terrorist enterprise”. One key objective is to stop the “preparation” of attacks via the web. The government, which has rushed these measures through, says they are needed to combat the growing use of the internet and social media by terror groups and in particular to tackle the threat of so-called “lone wolf” terrorists operating in France and elsewhere. But civil liberties groups, judges and the state body that oversees the impact of digital technology have condemned the law as an attack on freedom, ineffective and unworkable. Jérôme Hourdeaux details the new measures.

Google forced to show privacy fail message on homepage

France — Link

 French judge refuses to suspend order obliging Google to publish a notice saying it has been fined for breaches of French data protection act.

France fines Google over data privacy

France — Link

US search engine ignored three-month ultimatum from French privacy watchdog to bring practices on user information in line with local law.