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Liberté, égalité and eprivacy

There is a growing sense around the world that personal data is being exploited by ever more sophisticated marketing and advertising technologies. But in France, this is not a new topic, and it would not be the first time the French have fiercely defended the 'droits de l'homme'.

As far back as 1974, France was in uproar over a governmental proposal called SAFARI which aimed to create a database of personal data. The massive popular rejection of that project led to the creation of the CNIL (Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés), a commission mandated to guarantee that any developments in information technology would remain respectful of privacy, individual rights and public liberties.

CNIL remains strong almost 40 years later, working closely with EU bodies on data protection issues, and has most recently been questioning Google’s own declared privacy policy. CNIL is referenced by law every time that a French organisation requests data from an individual, and guarantees the individuals’ right to view, delete or amend their data records on demand. The legacy of the CNIL is that most French marketers are probably more sensitive than most about eprivacy, because they know that individuals (including B2B buyers) are aware of their rights when it comes to their data. The principles of liberté run deep!