Police: Why TAJ super-file concerned

The TPJ is supposed to improve the collaboration between the police and the gendarmerie.

Sunday, May 6th, a few hours of the defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy, Claude Gueant was published in the Official Journal decree for the creation of the TAJ. Acronym Cure "criminal record", the Taj is a super-file that will merge by the end of 2013, the STIC (treatment system infringements of the national police) and Judex (judicial system documentation and operating the national gendarmerie).

What is the Taj? This file lists all persons suspected of crimes, offenses and more serious offenses. Further, it will list along their alleged victims. For the victims, the duration of data retention will be "up to fifteen years." For suspected, the data will be kept for five to forty years for the most serious offenses.

Name, marital status, date and place of birth. the "classic" civility will be listed in the file, but not only. The files can also mention the racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical, union membership or data concerning health or sex life.

These data can not be mentioned in principle only on two conditions. They must be related to the nature and circumstances of the offense and be required to identify those responsible.

Another development, the TAJ will allow the automated comparison of photographs, thanks to the new biometric technologies.

What is this type of file? TAJ wants a new tool to use, analyze and compare information. It will be used first in the fight against crime. Authorized persons can query the database according to several criteria: facial photograph, description, procedure, mobile, nature of offense, date and place of the incident.

But the file will also be available in advance through administrative investigations "a hiring decision (.) For certain jobs, on the occasion of applications to acquire French nationality and issuance of permits or when missions of law enforcement with a risk to public order, "said the National Commission on Informatics and Liberties (CNIL).

Who will have access to this file? According to the decree, "any person individually and specially designated authority" will have access to these files. These people recruit mostly among police officers, gendarmes and customs. Prosecutors and judicial officials are also concerned. And it will be the same under certain conditions, for foreign policy. As a safeguard, the decree specifies, however, that the identity of the person viewing the file will be recorded and retained for five years.

What are the major criticisms of this type of file? The CNIL has been consulted on this decree. It issued on this occasion many reservations. First, she moved archiving time well above limitation and remember the concept of "right to be forgotten".

She also fears that the error file is peppered. During the checks they had done on the STIC between 2007 and 2008, members of the CNIL had identified so many inaccuracies and failures they had made a report to the Prime Minister. The CNIL particular criticized the lack of communication between the judiciary and the police. Under the TAJ, people will ask the prosecutor to correct and update information about them.

"It is impossible to ensure that the file does not contain an error," said Marc Rees, journalist PCInpact. "Especially since the merger of ICT and Judex is technically very complicated, said Jean-Marc Manach, a journalist specializing in the impact of information technology on society and the protection of privacy. This file is a real gas plant! "

But what are the possible pitfalls in the use of files that raises the most questions and concerns. "It is not excluded that checks are carried out improperly, for example, people applying for sensitive positions," said Marc Rees. For Laurent Mucchielli, sociologist and author of the site Delinquency, justice and other social issues, "it is leaking some information that is to be feared."

Read: The STIC, the bad example of a catchall file (Subscribers Edition)

Read: serial analysis of employment File Mode

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