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French EDVIGE decree withdrawn

4 December, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

It seems the demonstrations that took place on 16 October against the EDVIGE decree have found an echo with the French authorities. The French Government has finally withdrawn the EDVIGE file after a very strong mobilisation of the citizens through the "No to EDVIGE" group that gathered several associations and unions, including EDRi-member IRIS (Imaginons un Réseau Internet Solidaire).

The withdrawal of the decree is different from the abrogation in the sense that the withdrawal has a retroactive character meaning that all the information gathered since the creation of EDVIGE 1.0 has to be destroyed. The RG file, introduced in 1991, previous to EDVIGE, will remain valid until 31 December 2009 but no information will be added to it starting with 1 July 2008.

However, the liberty advocates and associations are still vigilant and stay careful while waiting for the occurrence of the newly envisaged file called EDVIRSP which has not yet been published. The new version which should exclude the collection of personal data related to health, sexuality or data on personalities or minors below 13 is now with the French Data Protection Authority - CNIL (Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés) before being sent to the State Council.

IRIS and the rest of the "No to EDVIGE" group are still concerned by some of the issues of the new version such as the creation of a file based on suspicions and not facts, the collection of data related to religious beliefs, ethnical origin, union membership, political opinions as well as data on minors older than 13.

So, for the time being, before the issue of a new file, the data already collected for the withdrawn EDVIGE file cannot be used which means that the police cannot gather data at this point. However, there are concerns that, in this case, the police will use other sources such as Cristina, a similar file to EDVIGE, which is a defence classified file that can provide the legal basis for the collection of data.

"We are now under a legal blur and this blur is never favourable to liberties' said Helène Masse-Dessen, lawyer of "No to EDVIGE" group.

IRIS Press release on the withdrawal of EDVIGE1.0 - First citizen victory but vigilance stays in place (only in French, 20.11.2008)

Decree no. 2008-1199 of 19 November 2008 on the withdrawal of decree no. 2008-632 of 27 June 2008 on the creation of automatic treatment of personal data called EDVIGE (only in French, 21.11.2008)

Withdraw EDVIGE1.0 team Press Release - « No to EDVIGE » team congratulates itself but stays mobilized (only in French, 21.11.2008)

The Edvige file officially withdrawn but not yet replaced (only in French, 21.11.2008)

The Edvige file officially withdrawn, the opponents stay "vigilant" (only in French, 20.11.2008)

EDRi-gram: Protests in France against the Edvige file on St. Edwige day (22.10.2008)



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