does the government know the number of all French people?

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does the government know the number of all French people?


The written message received by a large number of French people since Monday evening on their smartphones surprises some, who wonder if the content and the process are legal.

The written message received by a large number of French people since Monday evening on their smartphones surprises some, who wonder if the content and the process are legal.

You are, dear (es) readers (trices), undoubtedly very numerous to have received, mainly on Tuesday, an SMS coming from the sender “GOUVFR”, alerting on the last measures taken by the President of the Republic , Emmanuel Macron, in response to the progression of the coronavirus in the country and the decided containment. While doubts about the legality of the SMS can be eliminated, those related to the way the government obtained the phone number of fellow citizens remained unresolved. The intervention of our colleagues from CheckNews ended any misinterpretation.

A very authentic message

“Covid-19 alert. The President of the Republic has announced strict rules that you must follow to fight the spread of the virus and save lives. Outings are authorized with certificate and only for your work, if you cannot telecommute, your health or your essential errands. All information on www.gouvernement.fr. “ So much for the content of the message. If we could cast doubt on the authenticity of this written message, the lawyer specializing in digital issues, Alexandre Archambault, replies that if distrust is usually the order for an SMS from an unknown sender, the French “May”, here, trust, as evidenced by the presence of the link www.gouvernement.fr at the end of the message.




© Supplied by Clubic
SMS-alert-coronavirus-clubic.jpg

The alert message addressed to the French (© Alexandre Boero for Clubic)

Operators, solicited by the government

Once the question of authenticity has been ruled out, comes the major question of this message: how could the government have (or is it in the process of) sending this alert text to all French people? Several smartphone owners have never shared their phone number with a state body, which can obviously heighten the controversy.

But in reality, “Operators buffer”, specifies Alexandre Archambault. “They don’t deliver the numbers to the government, they send the SMS for it”, explains the lawyer. This means that Bouygues Telecom, Free, Orange and SFR each mobilized their fleet of SIM cards to distribute the message that the executive imperatively wanted to send to the French.

A process which hinders the GDPR, but which is justified in exceptional circumstances

The government has favored the technique of “direct marketing” by SMS. “These are commercial offers that allow you to send marketing texts. Except that normally these campaigns concern a maximum of a few million people for the most ambitious. As we go to 80 million, we had to smooth the shipment ”, explains master Archambault. What can take time, with a sending by successive waves, carried out differently according to the operator.

Finally, if the telephone number is considered, in the eyes of the law and regulations in force, as personal data subject to the consent of the user as required by the GDPR, it is possible to pass “In addition to people’s consent”, as “Safeguarding the vital interests of recipients and other natural persons” is essential. In theory, therefore, we cannot blame the state for anything.

Source: CheckNews

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