Generalization of the health pass: “This choice has an ethical dimension”, warns the CNIL

by Kelvin
Generalization of the health pass: "This choice has an ethical dimension", warns the CNIL

The Cnil gave its opinion on the extension of the health pass. Possession of this pass becomes mandatory to access a greater number of places, including those of everyday life. The authority takes into account the exceptional circumstances in which this device is deployed but all the same multiplies the warnings.

Once again, the National Commission for Informatics and Freedoms (Cnil) speaks out on the health pass, but without being certain of being heard. After a first alert in May, where it pointed to a risk of a “habituation phenomenon”, followed by an opinion in June on the application dedicated to pass control, the Cnil issued a new warning.


This position is taken within the framework of the discussion in the Senate of the bill relating to the management of the crisis linked to Covid-19. The independent administrative authority notes that the context in which the health pass is envisaged has changed: it is no longer just a question of targeting certain heavily frequented places, and very occasionally, but also of including places of everyday life. .

Indeed, the health pass has been required since July 21 in all places of culture and leisure welcoming more than 50 people, which includes, for example, cinemas, sports halls, museums, theaters, libraries. Previously, the gauge for the health pass was set at 1,000 individuals, which restricted the device to a few major raids, such as concerts or festivals.

However, this expansion of the compulsory use of the health pass is not trivial. “”, Warns the Cnil, because it will in fact give rise to a sort of quasi-permanent identity check of the population while it goes about its activities. That ” “


It turns out that the health pass will be further extended in August. Cafés and restaurants, shopping centers, hospitals, retirement homes and medico-social establishments and certain means of transport will be added to the list when they concern long journeys (planes, trains and coaches). These measures should apply to everyone from the age of 12.

These rapid changes in the health pass are to be assessed in view of the situation, admits the Cnil. “”, Writes the institution. Confinement is, in fact, a much more severe restriction on freedoms than a health pass, since it is almost no longer possible to move or go to public places.

That being said, continues the authority, “”. In practice, the control of the pass is likely to be akin to it.

The health pass can take the form of a paper document or be stored in the TousAntiCovid application. // Source: Numerama / Melvyn Dadure

Fear of addiction and trivialization

As the previous time, the president of the CNIL again warned parliamentarians of the risk of habituation and trivialization vis-à-vis all the mechanisms that are invented, over time, to deal with the pandemic of coronavirus. It recalls, and the text of the law takes this into account, that it is essential that the health pass be limited in time.

Indeed, these exceptional health circumstances actually facilitate the deployment of “” and acclimatize, over time, the population to such controls which “”. Clearly, we must be careful of everything “” and the occurrence of a “”, which prevents any turning back once the measures are installed in the landscape.

Taking advantage of her hearing, the president of the CNIL suggested tightening the scope and conditions of use of the health pass. For example: is it so relevant to include the youngest in this mechanism, when they usually do not develop a severe form of the disease? If the goal is to avoid congestion in hospitals due to lack of vaccination, minors are probably not relevant in the equation.

Tighten the use of the health pass

The use of the sanitary pass could also be more finely tuned, including at the level of gauges and public places, taking into account other barrier measures and local characteristics. For example, a terrace is much more ventilated than the room of a restaurant. Wearing a mask, physical distancing, reception capacity are also other factors to be taken into account.

The CNIL notes with satisfaction that “” in the text, on the exercise of certain fundamental freedoms (access to places of worship, political and union freedom), but also on the prohibition to keep the data of the pass at the end. the verification process, the consideration of contraindications and the fact that there is a paper alternative to the digital health pass.

However, more is needed: authority “”. Additional provisions must also be incorporated for the pass in a professional context.

Thus, continues the Cnil, “”.

In conclusion, the president of the CNIL suggests that it might be time, after a year and a half of the pandemic, to question the usefulness of the other systems already in place, if the health pass becomes a keystone in living with it. the virus. Perhaps some tools put in place since early 2020 can be abandoned, including some digital instruments.

“”, She observes, recalling that there is already a host of measures: barrier gestures, obligation to wear a mask, health teleworking, an unprecedented health survey system, TousAntiCovid application, reminder notebooks , vaccination campaign and health pass.

For further

A smartphone with a QR Code // Source: Numerama / Melvyn Dadure