French village and Marianne
26 January 2016

The Digital Bill

The National Assembly has just passed the Bill for a Digital Republic. The bill was jointly prepared in consultation with citizens over a period of 3 weeks. An unprecedented method!

Content published under the Government Valls II from 2014 26th August to 2016 11th February

"Trust collective intelligence"

For the first time, a bill was jointly prepared with Internet users before being submitted to the Council of State and adopted by the Council of Ministers.
This participatory creation of the bill over three weeks enabled everyone to contribute to this legislation in order to enrich and perfect it. Participants were able to express their opinion on the different articles of the text and propose modifications, which were then subject to the opinion of Internet users.
After appraisal, the contributions were incorporated into the Bill for a Digital Republic. The Government clearly highlighted the modifications made to the text following this consultation, in order to facilitate the follow-up of proposals from different contributors.

1. Net neutrality

The Digital Bill establishes the principle of Net neutrality. Operators may not discriminate in providing access to the network on the basis of services. The French authority for regulation of the electronic communications and postal sectors (ARCEP) will be responsible for ensuring that this principle is observed. In concrete terms, they may not propose slower Internet to certain customers, and a faster connection to others.

2. Data portability

The Digital Bill establishes data portability. Email providers will henceforth be required to allow the migration of a user's emails and contact lists when they decide to change service providers.

3. Right to maintain the connection

The Digital Bill establishes the right to maintain the connection. Households experiencing payment difficulties may receive financial assistance from a universal solidarity fund. Their connection shall be maintained by their access provider while their assistance request is under examination.

4. Confidentiality of private correspondence

The Digital Bill guarantees the principle of confidentiality of electronic correspondence. Emails shall henceforth be as confidential as physical letters, and may not be analysed by email services, except in order to detect spam and viruses.

5. Right to be forgotten for minors

Thanks to the Digital Bill, in the event of difficulty in having data that was published when a person is or was a minor deleted, it will be possible to refer to the CNIL which shall give a ruling within 15 days. This will make it possible, for example, to request that photos of holidays or parties, posted when a young girl was a minor and which could prejudice her in finding a work placement or a job, be deleted.

6. Better inform consumers of online reviews

Thanks to the Digital Bill, online review sites must indicate whether their publication has been verified. Consumers can thus assess the degree of credibility of the reviews available online.

7. OPenness of public data

With the Digital Bill, public bodies such as social landlords must publish their databases online. In addition, public authorities will be required to guarantee the quality and updating of "reference data" such as the national address database: this will facilitate the work of local public services such as fire brigades and emergency services.

8. Improved accessibility

The Digital Bill will require that all public administration websites specify their level of compliance with accessibility regulations, failing which financial penalties will be applied. Large companies must also offer after-sales telephone services that are accessible to the hearing impaired.

9. Digital death

The Digital Bill establishes the right for all to express their wishes and ensure they are respected with regard to what happens after their death to their personal information published online.