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Law for a Digital Republic of 7 October 2016: The protection of individuals in the digital society

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France

The French Law for a Digital Republic was promulgated on 7 October and aims to anticipate changes related to the digitalisation of society. This publication summarizes the main inputs of the law.

On Friday 7 October 2016, the President of the French Republic promulgated Law no. 2016-1321 of 7 October 2016 for a Digital Republic.

This law addresses numerous issues such as net neutrality, transferability of data, the right to continued internet service, the confidentiality of private correspondence, the right to be forgotten for minors, open government data, digital data management after death, open government algorithms  and even the official recognition of video game competitions.

The law is intended to anticipate changes relating to digital technology in general and consists of three parts:  

  1. The circulation of data and knowledge
  2. The protection of individuals in the digital society
  3. Universal access to digital technology

Which requires : 

1) provisions to ensure an open digital environment (internet access neutrality; platform fairness and providing information to consumers; data transferability)

  • The ARCEP is given powers to monitor and  impose penalties to ensure internet neutrality, and guarantee non-discriminatory network access for all economic players

Date of entry into force: As from 9 October 2016

Implementing regulations:Law no. 2016-1321 of 7 October 2016 for a Digital Republic

  • Data transferability will enter into force in 2018. Consultation on the methods for implementation of this measure has been launched with the various economic players.  

Date of entry into force: March 2017

Implementing regulations: Decrees to be issued

  • Platform fairness: work has also started on this.

Date of entry into force: March 2017

Implementing regulations: Decrees to be issued

2) Measures to protect personal privacy online (data management in the event of death; confidentiality of private correspondence)

  • A 20-fold increase to the ceiling for penalties which can be imposed by the French Data Protection Authority (CNIL), increasing from 150,000 euros to 3 million euros

Date of entry into force: As from 9 October 2016

Implementing regulations:Law no. 2016-1321 of 7 October 2016 for a Digital Republic

  • Protection of citizens who detect information system vulnerabilities, also known as "white hat hackers" in order to encourage them to reveal these vulnerabilities to the National Agency for the Security of Information Systems, with no risk of criminal penalties for this action. 

Date of entry into force: As from 9 October 2016

Implementing regulations:Law no. 2016-1321 of 7 October 2016 for a Digital Republic

  • Digital death: the decree organizing the repertoire of directives, in particular, will be published in March  2017

Date of entry into force: March 2017

Implementing regulations: Decree to be issued

  • Confidentiality of private correspondence

Date of entry into force: end of 2016

Implementing regulations: Decree to be issue

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