January 24, 2022

the fuzzy outlines of an unprecedented identity check

Will you soon have to present your identity card in addition to your QR code to drink a coffee on the terrace? More than 182,000 false health passes have been identified by the police since July 2021 – it is impossible to say how many are in circulation. So for “Strengthen the fight against fraud” in the future vaccine pass, the bill examined on Monday, December 27 in the Council of Ministers intends “Allow those responsible for checking its presentation to verify, in case of doubt, the identity of their holder”. “Papers please”, will we sometimes hear at the entrance of museums, cinemas or TGVs if the text proposed by the Prime Minister is adopted as is: “It may be required, in case of doubt, the presentation of an official identity document. “

To date, the law, in force since August 5, 2021, provides that the presentation of the health pass “Is only accompanied by presentation of official identity documents when these are required by law enforcement officers”. The question of authorizing restaurant owners, seminar organizers or amusement park cashiers to verify the consistency of the pass with the identity of its holder had already been raised in the summer, but in the face of opposition from professionals. sectors concerned and many parliamentarians, the government had left aside the control it now wishes to implement.

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The security agents hired en masse since the introduction of the health pass to scan our phone screens could this time see their mission expanded, provided that a legal difficulty is ruled out: identity checks are now under control. under the exclusive competence of judicial police officers. Matignon will be able to point out that there is no question, in his bill, of “Control”, more of ” to verify “, and that we already verify the identity of citizens wishing to pay by check, enter a casino or see a film prohibited to under 16 years.

“It all seems poorly framed”

“It goes beyond a simple verification, it is a form of identity check that does not say its name, nevertheless believes Philippe Gosselin, skeptical deputy (Les Républicains) of the Channel and vice-president of the law committee in the National Assembly, which will examine the text in the coming days. What about in the event of proven fraud, we prevent the customer from entering? Who manages the tension that this risks generating? Beyond the fact that a function is entrusted to an authority which does not have the competence, the text does not say anything about the way in which the control will be ensured. “

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