Following the publishing of a regulation in the Official Journal on Thursday, French police will be able to employ drones equipped with cameras for a variety of purposes, including crowd surveillance and border control, beginning on Friday.
This comes little over a year before the Paris 2024 Olympics, and at a time when protests over President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform have become violent.
The decree allows police, customs or military to use drones to prevent attacks on people or property, ensure the security of gatherings in public places as well as maintain or restore public order when these gatherings are likely to severely disrupt public order.
The drones can also be used for the prevention of terrorist acts, the regulation of transport flows, border surveillance, and rescuing people, the decree said.
The decree details and implements in practice a security law voted by parliament last year.
France’s CNIL data privacy watchdog had in March demanded that a detailed policy of use be published, including on the information of the public concerned by the use of drones.