French gays concerned about new database that records sexual orientation
The creation of a new French database, EDVIGE, is proving to be highly controversial.
The database will be used by French intelligence services and police to collate information on “individuals, groups and organisations who by their individual or collective activity are deemed to endanger public order,” according to www.edri.org.
EDVIGE was created by a decree issued on 27 June 2008 in the framework of the merger of two French intelligence services, RG and DST.
Filing of information can start as early as age 13 and will contain data on “civil status and occupation; physical addresses, phone numbers, email addresses; physical characteristics, photographs and behaviour; identity papers; car plate numbers; fiscal and patrimonial information; moves and legal history.”
Gay and lesbian associations have highlighted that the data collected will also include sexual orientation and health, in particular HIV status.
This has been confirmed by a representative of the Interior ministry, who declared that “the mention of these data will only be authorised for incidental need in relation with an activity. In the intelligence field, this mainly means activism.”
A large mobilisation against EDVIGE has begun with a petition which has gathered over 16,000 individual signatures since it was launched on 10th July.