“Our personal data is worth gold!” > The debrief of the magazine “Cash Investigation”

The “Cash Investigation” team answers some of the questions that were asked via the Franceinfo website and on social networks using the hashtag # CashInvestigation… Extract from “Our personal data is worth gold!”, A survey by Linda Bendali broadcast on Thursday 20 May 2021 on France 2.


For this debrief of the issue of Cash Investigation “Our personal data is worth gold!” (replay), Elise Lucet is surrounded by Linda Bendali, who carried out the survey, Bertrand Scirpo, the personal data protection officer at France Télévisions, and Emmanuel Gagnier, the editor-in-chief of “Cash”.

Victor (Villeurbanne)> What can we do to best protect our data?Elise Lucet>
At the end of this investigation, this is really the question that arises. It’s hard to give you a unique recipe, but there are already a few reflexes to adopt: barrier gestures, in a way. If an application asks you for access to your contacts directory or to your photos… refuse! On websites, refuse cookies as soon as possible. You can also give false information about your date of birth, your gender or your place of life to confuse the issue. And then, we suggest you listen to the advice of Viviane Reding, the European Commissioner who fought to impose the famous GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation:

“I hide my private life, my children and grandchildren, the little worries of family life. Of this, you will not read anything on social networks… I do not have geolocation on my phone, so I do not have access to certain services where it is important. I chose not to have these services. And I read the road maps… ”

Elise Lucet>
Yes, to protect your privacy, you have to be ready to make some sacrifices … But be careful, let’s not be naive, barrier gestures do not constitute a universal vaccine.

Jean-Phi (Pas-de-Calais)> Why has the CNIL authorized the collection of health data from pharmacies? Isn’t it supposed to protect that data?Emmanuel Gagnier>
You are not the only one asking this question. LREM deputy Jean-Michel Mis even asked publicly, on social networks, “An argued response from the CNIL”. The “Cash” team did it too. The supervisory authority told us that it had given this authorization to IQVIA to carry out medical research, justified by public interest. Except that in our investigation, we clearly demonstrate that the American data broker also sells this data for marketing purposes, and therefore to private companies. This is a far cry from the public interest and medical research. Following our revelations, the CNIL has just announced that it will carry out checks. To be continued …

Marc (Seine-Saint-Denis)> In my opinion, a poster in a dispensary is not explicit consent.Linda Bendali >
You are right. This also surprised us, because in the authorization that the CNIL gave to IQVIA and pharmacists, it does not ask for explicit consent, it just asks that customers be informed individually. So we wondered what exactly that meant “Inform individually”, and what surprised us is that on its website, the CNIL explains, I quote, “Personal information can be done by posting”. In other words, it is up to the pharmacist to choose whether he prefers to put up a sign or inform each of his customers when he presents himself at the counter.

Malo (Nord)> How to oppose the sending of our data to IQVIA?Elise Lucet>
Surprisingly, before our investigation, the American data broker had nothing planned to allow pharmacists to block the transmission of patient data. But, miracle, during my interview with Jean-Marc Aubert, the French boss of IQVIA announced that they were working on it. Today, this device would be, according to his group, operational. Ten thousand pharmacies have a contract with IQVIA. So, Malo, you have a one in two chance, if you can call it a chance, that your pharmacist does. Ask if he works with IQVIA and if so, tell him that you object to sending your data. But beware, there is another data broker, OpenHealth, which has also signed a contract with French pharmacies. And here too, we have to start the same process.

Gwénolé (Rennes)> It seems that the Ma Grossesse application has not been accessible for a month. Do you know if these changes are related to the completion of your survey? Emmanuel Gagnier>
Like you, we also noticed that this application was no longer available. Here is the photo and the message we come across when we try to open it. Doctissimo explains that the My Pregnancy app is getting a makeover. Does it relate to our investigation? Difficult to say, but perhaps they are removing the tracers that we have identified, and reviewing their policy on the transmission of personal data. And many of you informed us that ColdCRM, this site that sells phone numbers, was no longer accessible since our documentary was posted on France.tv. In this case, it is very likely that this closure is related to our investigation.

Alex (Lille)> The sites ask for an authorization for cookies. Some require us to accept them, or pay to access content (eg, Marmiton). Is it legal?Linda Bendali >
In fact, the question is not yet decided. Since April 1, 2021, many sites like Marmiton display this banner which offers you a subscription of 1 to 2 euros per month if you refuse cookies, that is to say if you refuse to be traced. Is it legal? For the moment, we are still in a legal limbo, the CNIL has declared that it will rule on their legality on a case-by-case basis. On a case-by-case basis, that means every time a complaint is filed.

Inconsistency (Essonne)> Why France.tv asks to register with his email address and date of birth to see, among other things, “Cash Investigation”?Bertrand Scirpo >
France Télévisions actually asks you for your email address, your age, your gender and your postal code. Your email address is used to inform you about our general conditions of use, or to help you renew your password when you have forgotten it. The date of birth makes it possible in particular to verify that the user is of the required age to create an account. For France Télévisions, it’s 16 years. The postal code makes it possible, for example, to identify a geographical area where there is a dissemination incident. And all this data makes it possible to have more complete audience measurements of our programs, to personalize our offers, but also to make advertising targeting. France Télévisions also lives from advertising revenue, but there are guarantees for the user: if by coming to our site, you refuse cookies, tracers in French, there will be no advertising targeting based on your navigation. France Télévisions will not use the personal data that you have transmitted to us either: age, gender or postal code.

Extract from “Our personal data is worth gold!”, A survey by Linda Bendali broadcast Thursday, May 20, 2021 on France 2.

> Replays of France Télévisions news magazines are available on the Franceinfo website and its mobile application (iOS & Android), “Magazines” section.


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