Thursday, July 16, 2020

Coronavirus: how the government could have announced the containment to you by SMS

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Who has not been intrigued to receive a text message from the government during the night of Monday to Tuesday? If you asked yourself questions when you received this message intended to announce the containment to deal with the coronavirus, your case is not isolated, according to a press release published Thursday by the National Commission for Data Protection (Cnil): “The receipt of this message, sent by the government, raised certain questions on the part of individuals with regard to the protection of their personal data. “

No, reassures the CNIL, the government does not have your phone number. However, he asked the telephone operators to send you this SMS. The numbers were not “transmitted to the government”, “the latter was content to transmit a message to the operators, who were responsible, with their own databases, for routing it to individuals”.

In the event of “imminent danger” or “major disaster”

In France, “this type of information operation is provided for by law, which requires telecommunications operators to broadcast to their subscribers messages from public authorities intended to warn the population of an imminent danger or disaster major ”, continues the CNIL.

It recalls that the European regulation on the protection of personal data (GDPR) also allows “the use of personal data without the consent of individuals, in particular within the framework of a legal obligation, missions of public interest or for the safeguard of vital interests of people ”.

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