Deconfinement: why the Council of State suspends the use of drones?

For reasons related to the processing of personal data, the Council of State has just suspended the use of surveillance drones during deconfinement in the French capital.

In Paris, even if the use by the police of about twenty drones to ensure compliance with confinement instructions was akin to a communication operation, their use was controversial. While the prefecture intended to exploit them to avoid the presence of crowds as part of the progressive deconfinement, the Council of State cut their wings on Monday. From the start of their use, the association La Quadrature du Net and the Human Rights League had given a stir and asked the President of the Paris Administrative Court to discontinue their use.

The reason ? With their wide-angle 4K camera and powerful zoom, drones allow authorities to film people, and possibly process images that fall under the regulations on the protection of personal data . Rejected for the first time by the judge, it is now the Council of State which orders the immediate suspension of the use of these drones to control the progressive deconfinement.

A simple decree can make the fleet take off again

While this decision of the Council of State only concerns Paris, questioned by France Info, Me Patrice Spinosi, the lawyer of the two organizations, considers that it is ” generalizable to the whole of France “. But beware, if the drones can no longer be operated by the law enforcement agencies as they are, they may well return to the air soon. In reality, the Council of State prohibits them from theft, until a government decree regulates the processing of the personal data collected, or until a technical means prevents the identification of people.