The 25th of June 2012, Gilles Babinet was nominated by Fleur Pellerin as “French representative of the digital champions program of the European Union”. He has recently declared: “the CNIL (French national data protection commission) is an enemy of the nation”. He also qualified the privacy’s protectors of “backward-lookers”.
Looking at his recent nomination, this posture may be surprising. The privacy is one of the biggest current issues, and it can not be excluded from the agenda, especially the one of an elected official.
But if we look more closely, his comments seem explicable, but not understandable at the same time.
He is also an entrepreneur. He still owns a company, Captain Dash, specialized in marketing intelligence… that collects huge amounts of data, compiles it in one data base and then sells it to intereste parties.
It is true that the recent recommendations of the CNIL might not serve the business of his company, but his nomination borders the conflict of interest!
When he was still president of the French national digital council, Gilles Babinet had wished “the emergence of a healthy internet for citizens.” In Babinet’s words, this means an internet where the companies don’t respect the user’s privacy anymore.
In the interview he gave to “L’usine nouvelle”, he also declared that “If we were brave, we could create one or two million skilled jobs in five years […] but this suppose reforming or closing the CNIL”. What kind of companies would benefit that much from restricting the protection of personal data?.. as if the economic future of France requires the deregulation of the market of personal data.
In addition to being a puppet of the digital economy, Gilles Babinet can afford the luxury of being demagogic…