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    Reuters: France scales back database plans after outcry

    Found via PogoWasRight.org.

    France has backed down on plans to expand the collection, retention and sharing of private data on citizens after a huge backlash from the public. The Associated Press said “Critics have collected some 130,000 signatures against the database — known by the acronym Edvige — which they contend is better suited for a police state than a modern European democracy.”

    Reuters reports:

    The French government will scrap a decree that would have allowed the police to store private information on politicians and unionists, the prime minister’s office said Thursday after the text caused an outcry.

    The Edvige electronic database will still go ahead, but the government will come up with a new decree that significantly tightens the rules so that only people considered a security threat can be included.

    “The decree will explicitly rule out the collection of any data on people’s sexual orientation or health,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement. The first decree had made it possible to store such data, drawing widespread criticism.

    The statement also noted that the new decree will no longer allow the police to collect data on politicians, union activists or religious figures simply because of their activities.

    The criteria for being included will now be related to perceived security threats.

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