In force in France from June 9, the health pass is already arousing criticism from part of the opposition. Among the main criticisms made by his opponents: the lack of debate and the digital surveillance of citizens that it would allow.
In his interview detailing the deconfinement schedule granted to the regional press and published on April 29 in various newspapers, Emmanuel Macron also detailed his vision of a “health pass” and the uses that could be made of it, notably by mentioning the major gatherings. Developed at European level, this pass conditioning certain trips abroad or access to certain places will soon be introduced in France. A perspective that continues to raise many concerns, both from a democratic point of view and about the “digital registration” of citizens to which it could be used, according to its detractors.
According to the calendar provided by the Head of State, this pass will come into force on June 9 and will be the condition for accessing major sites welcoming more than 5,000 people (cultural places, stadiums and fairs). Then, from June 30, it will be necessary to attend all types of events bringing together more than 1,000 participants.
Presented by Emmanuel Macron as an “additional tool to ensure the protection of the French” in the face of Covid-19, the document “will be paper or digital, via the TousAntiCovid application, and will make it possible to show that one is vaccinated or tested negative in the two days before ”. The Head of State promises, however, that it will not be “a right of access that differentiates the French”.
“It could not be compulsory to access places of everyday life such as restaurants, theaters and cinemas, or to go to friends’,” assures Emmanuel Macron, affirming on the other hand that “in places where crowds mingle […] it would be absurd not to use it ”.
A debate in Parliament on a project already recorded?
The President of the Republic also recognizes that this health pass concerns “our public freedoms”, which is why Parliament “will take up the issue”. A validation by the deputies and senators already mentioned the day before by Prime Minister Jean Castex, who assimilated the health pass to “an element of security which affects our fundamental freedoms”. And to add that it is “normal that the legislator seizes it”.
For its part, the European Parliament, on April 28, already gave its agreement to the “green certificate” aimed at allowing movement between the member countries of the Schengen area. Presented by the European Commission, this “health euro-pass” should enter into force from mid-June and is similar to the document defended by the French executive at national level: according to European Commissioner Thierry Breton, the name will be found there, the date of birth, the passport number (certified with the QR code), but also a vaccination certificate, the type of vaccine injected and, in the event that the person was a carrier of the disease, whether “he or she has antibody or not ”. “We can also find for those who have had neither the vaccine nor the disease, and for whom we will ask for a PCR test, the state of your PCR test”, also specified the senior European official.
While the health pass has already been enacted at European and national level, the appropriateness of a parliamentary debate raises questions – in particular in such a short period of time, and when its modalities have already been defined in broad outline. This announcement by the executive probably intends to defuse the criticisms of a democratic deficit which are raised against the establishment of the health pass, but risks confining the National Assembly to a role of “registration chamber”, which it is often criticized. .
The fear of digital surveillance of the French
Last February, Emmanuel Macron had already warned at a press conference that the implementation of a health pass would “ask a lot of technical questions, respect for individual data, organization of our freedoms”, as the remember The Dispatch. The Head of State also announced on this occasion that this pass would not be a passport “only linked to vaccination”. The vaccination passport in the strict sense – difficult to apply immediately, according to Emmanuel Macron’s own admission “even though we would not have even opened vaccination to the youngest” – is also rejected by seven out of ten French people. according to an EESC poll, they fear an “attack on private freedoms”.
If vaccination will therefore only be an option for holding the health pass, questions relating to the processing of private data and the monitoring of citizens’ movements and activities also arise.
The European Commission has tried to reassure by committing to respect for the protection of personal data as part of its health certificate. In an opinion published on April 7, 2021, the European Data Protection Board and the European Data Protection Supervisor indeed underline that, while it is legitimate, according to them, the project “does not and must not in any way case lead to the creation of a central personal database at EU level ”and that the certificate“ must be limited to the Covid-19 pandemic and suspended once the pandemic has been overcome ”. The use of health data conditioning access to public places must also “be based on a precise legal basis”, according to these independent authorities.
But these guarantees have not convinced all commentators and political leaders.
Speaking on April 30 on RT France, the editorialist Alexis Poulin thus assimilated the sanitary pass project to a “form of registration and bioethics” which would entail a “risk of the rupture of equality between citizens, between those who have had access to vaccination, those who do not wish to be vaccinated ”. According to him, this pass is also problematic because it is based on a vaccination for which we do not know the duration of the immunization provided, and on tests that should be carried out “almost all the time to be sure of being able to go somewhere”. Alexis Poulin estimated that this health pass opened a Pandora’s box: “We are in something pretty crazy, which is opening the floodgates to a Chinese-style total biocontrol company, where you are good or bad. citizen”. “We must be extremely vigilant and not take that for a health measure”, these “random measures” can “last and fit into the law”, he warned.
In a video relayed on Twitter, the deputy of Essonne and president of Debout France Nicolas Dupont-Aignant believes for his part that the digital pass results in “a tracing, a generalized registration of the French”. Arguing that the vaccine would not prevent the transmission of Covid-19 and that therefore “everyone is responsible for their situation”, the mayor of Yerres claims that this pass is a “pretext to set up a file, a digitization, generalized surveillance of the French ”, which he said would be the start of a“ civilizational change ”.
Our jailer Macron is too good to arrange our parole. Unnecessary curfew maintained until June 30. Blackmail to the health pass for access to certain places… even outdoors. No health reason and this to instill digital surveillance! pic.twitter.com/HNrznFIw2c
– N. Dupont-Aignan (@dupontaignan) April 29, 2021
The founder and president of the Patriots Florian Philippot – who actively campaigns for the immediate and unconditional reopening of all public places – is also worried about the fact that the health pass could lead to “a society of segregation according to the state of health , and on eugenics ”. “All the bolts will jump. We put our finger in a monstrous gear. Zero ethical or moral debate. To validate that is to bear an immense responsibility, ”he warns.
Pull the thread from the #PassportSanitary you will come across a society of segregation according to state of health, and eugenics. All locks will jump.
We put our finger in a monstrous gear. Zero ethical or moral debate. To validate that is to bear an immense responsibility.
– Florian Philippot (@f_philippot) April 30, 2021
Same opposition from the founder and president of the UPR François Asselineau, who considered that “the health pass for sporting and cultural places [était] unacceptable and [devait] to be fought ”.
✅Reopening of terraces (May 19), restaurants (June 9), gradual lifting of the curfew …
These measures are finally, very belatedly, in the right direction.
⚠️But the health pass for sporting and cultural venues is unacceptable and must be fought.
– François Asselineau (@UPR_Asselineau) April 29, 2021
The President of the Sovereign Republic, Georges Kuzmanovic, for his part declared that the health pass was “a new attack on freedoms on the part of Macron” and a “denial of democracy”, because it is implemented “without parliamentary debate” and “Without equality in terms of access to vaccines, for which the government alone is responsible”.
This is a new violation of freedoms on the part of #Macron
🔥 Without parliamentary debate
🔥 Without equality in access to vaccines for which ONLY the government is responsible.
It is a denial of democracy! pic.twitter.com/kCJMGAHHDh
– Georges Kuzmanovic 🇨🇵 (@Vukuzman) April 29, 2021