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practice FR: National data protection authority launches online complaint service

FR: National data protection authority launches online complaint service

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On 8 November 2010 the French data protection authority (CNIL - Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés, in French) launched a new complaint service on its website cnil.fr. It is now possible to report an impossibility to delete or modify personal data on third party websites, search engines or social networks.

Since June 2010, users have been able to send an online complaint to the CNIL if their right to be granted access to their personal data, or their right to object to direct advertising, is denied by the managers of their files (e.g. employer, banker, doctor, Social Security Fund, etc).

Users can now also lodge a complaint to the CNIL in case they cannot delete their personal data (name, surname, pictures, videos, comments, Court judgments) posted on the Internet. Moreover they can receive the CNIL's support to enforce their right to update or to delete data (e.g. mistake as to their identity or contact details, incorrect comments) from a file containing their personal data.

The new service allows users in a few clicks to:

  • request the intervention of the CNIL from the 'online complaint form';
  • be referred to specialised notification platforms (for problems of spam, unsolicited SMS or illegal Internet content).

In any case and as required by articles 38, 39 and 40 of the so-called 'Loi Informatique et libertés' (Law on IT and Liberty, in English) prior to every other step, interested parties must have sent their request to the file manager or to the website in question. Related sample letters are available on www.cnil.fr in order to positively assist users in this process. The responsible person must immediately answer to the users if the latter come on site (i.e. when they go to the relevant counter), or within a maximum of two months upon written request. Only after this period of two months and provided that the responsible person does not respond, users can complain to the CNIL.

The online complaint form allows the integration of digitised attachments in various formats. Upon completion of the form, the complaint is securely sent to the CNIL (through data encryption). Users can print their request and they receive acknowledgement of receipt. Their request is then conveyed to the complaints department.

Further Information:

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