The Council of State ordered, Friday, June 26, a town of Essonne to stop using thermal cameras installed in schools to fight against the spread of Covid-19. Seizure by the League for Human Rights (LDH), the highest administrative court in France “Orders the municipality of Lisses to cease the use of thermal cameras which had been deployed in schools”.
The Council of State considers that these installations “Manifestly infringe the right to respect for the privacy of students and staff, unlike the fixed camera installed in the municipal building, the use of which is not compulsory”.
In the context of the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, the municipality of Lisses – more than 7,500 inhabitants – had decided to install, as of April 17, thermal cameras, fixed and mobile, in administrative and office premises. entry to elementary schools.
The League for Human Rights denounced a “Processing of personal data” operated “Without informed consent”.
Last week, the CNIL, French gendarme of personal data, had already alerted to the rapid and uncontrolled use of cameras, by communities or companies, intended to measure the temperature, to check the wearing of the mask or to ensure the respect for physical distance, in the context of the fight against Covid-19.
“Automated processing of personal data”
“It is a real victory which aims to set a precedent (…) beyond the town of Lisses “, responded LDH lawyer Patrice Spinosi. “European law imposed the solution. We cannot do anything with the new digital tools on the sole pretext of wanting to guarantee people’s health ”, did he declare.
At the hearing Tuesday, the mayor of Lisses, Thierry Lafon (various right), and the lawyer of the town, Me Claire Waquet, had defended a strictly local measure, taken “In the context of the fight against an epidemic” to preserve municipal employees and schoolchildren. They noted that no parent had complained and stressed that there was no “No data storage”, answering a “Processing of personal data”.
Now this is what ” treatment “ sanctioned by the Council of State. The judge in chambers notes that pupils and teachers “Must obligatorily submit to this temperature measurement to access the establishment and that an abnormal result involves the obligation for them to leave the establishment”.
The “Infers that this collection of health data constitutes automated processing of personal data within the meaning of the GDPR (general data protection regulations). In the absence in particular of a text justifying the use of these cameras for reasons of public health and in the absence of the consent of the pupils and the staff, the conditions are not fulfilled to allow such data processing ”.
The judge therefore considers that the town of Lisses carries “A manifestly unlawful interference with the right to respect for the private life of pupils and staff, which includes the right to the protection of personal data and the freedom to come and go”.