The commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés, otherwise known as the CNIL, was born with great publicity in the 1970s. It has now achieved the metamorphosis which all State agencies go through: initially created to protect citizens from data-gathering entities, it is now little more than a rigid and cumbersome speed bump. This rigidity is heftily decried by French health professionals, who see how easily their foreign competition circumvent the French regulations and fully exploit the modern Web’s potential, using the data to better public health.

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