On 12 January 2021, the French data protection authority, Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (CNIL), sanctioned the Ministry of the Interior for illegally using camera-equipped drones, in particular to monitor compliance with containment measures.
CNIL found that the Ministry had used such drones in the absence of legal text authorising them, as well as had failed to communicate to CNIL that its Data Protection Impact Assessment had shown that there was a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals.
In addition, CNIL noted that the blurring mechanism applied to pictures taken by drones was only applied after the collection of images containing personal data and did not ensure that people could not be identified through the images.
Therefore, CNIL issued a sanction against the Ministry, as well as ordered to cease of use of drones and the Ministry’s compliance with Act No.78-17 of 6 January 1978 on Data Processing, Data Files and Individual Liberties.
You can find the full text of the measure here.