French watchdog warns against "surveillance society"
People's Daily | July 10, 2007
French national data and liberties commission (CNIL) warned Monday against a "surveillance society," which "threatens our cardinal protection of data and our liberties. "
In its 2006 report published Monday, CNIL's president Alex Turk affirmed that two waves, technological and normative, "today threaten data and liberties authorities which it is meant to protect."
"Technological space is constantly on the move, whereas the legal one remains particularly slow," technology tends to become " invisible," and controlling authorities risks being
"circumvented, submerged" by the technological wave, notes the report, calling for rethinking of modalities of protecting individual liberties.
CNIL also reckons that development of anti-terrorism laws poses a "challenge" for data protection authorities, who must " continuously search for equilibrium between public security concerns and demands for protecting private life and individual information."
"Technological innovation is both progressive and dangerous. Individuals are tempted by the comfort it brings along, but few are aware of the risks it carries. They are least bothered by the surveillance of their movements, analysis of their behaviors, their acquaintances, or their tastes," warns CNIL in its report.
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