French Court Bans the Use of Drone Surveillance to Enforce Covid-19 Lockdown
May 19, 2020
The Conseil d'État, France's highest administrative court, issued a decision banning French authorities from using drone surveillance to track individuals violating social distancing rules. The Court cited privacy issues with drone surveillance and stated that drone surveillance by police would be banned until technology is added to prevent the filming and identification of individuals or approval was given by France's privacy regulator, the Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés. EPIC recently argued argued before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in EPIC's open government case against the FAA Drone Advisory Committee. EPIC filed suit in 2018 after the Advisory Committee largely ignored the privacy risks posed by drones. Despite the Committee's disregard for privacy, documents obtained by EPIC showed the Committee identified privacy as a top public concern. EPIC also recently settled a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against DHS for a report detailing the status of implementing privacy, civil liberties, and civil rights protections against DHS' use of surveillance drones.