French Senate proposes new laws to limit use of biometrics
02 May 2014 15:45 GMT

Sweeping new law would prevent biometrics usage in many commercial situations

France could become one of the first countries in the world to make sweeping laws against the use of biometric technology - except in certain stringent security-based cases - if proposals by the country's Senate come to fruition.

The proposals were tabled in the French Senate on February 12, 2014 by Gaëtan Gorce and others - and has since gone through various amendments. The Bill is intended to be an addition to Loi n° 78-17 du 6 janvier 1978 and relates to ensuring biometric data is only used when needed for the strict purposes of security (understood as the safety of persons and property, and the protection of information whose disclosure, misappropriation or destruction would cause serious and irreversible harm).

In addition the supplement says that biometrics should only be used if the risk to security is high and that there is proportionality between the nature of the information or the site secured and the technology used. Even then, use of the technology would have to be given consent to use.

The law does not appear to relate to the personal use of biometrics, but could impact a wide range of other uses of the technology by corporations - from simple access control systems, to its use in schools, financial organizations, and for time and attendance across a myriad of industries and more.

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