Because they constitute a significant risk of social exclusion and marginalisation, the CNIL attempts to define the minimum guarantees to be met by outstanding rent payment files. Particularly, the CNIL reminds that :
The required openness of the file should be accomplished by informing the tenants, upon the execution of the lease, by including a clause in the leasing agreement formally indicating that possibility, designating the black list manager and the purpose of the file, without prejudice to the need of informing the tenant when he or she is entered in the file and of providing for additional payment time.
In order to prevent an « electronic pillory », the use of, and access to the black list should be limited to one area of business and to professionals in that area. The Commission believes that the circulation of information relating to outstanding rent payments to landlords who are not real estate professionals is likely to violate the sectorisation criteria that it requires and will not prevent abuses.
The CNIL reminds that article 30 of the law dated January 6, 1978 reserves for courts and public agencies acting within their legal authority, as well as, subject to the Commission’s positive opinion, for legal entities providing a public service, the establishment of automated files relating to nominal information about violations, convictions or protective measures. Article 226-19 of the criminal code punishes any breach of those provisions by 5 five years in prison and a EUR 300 000 fine. The circulation of information relating to rulings ordering a debtor to pay a rent-related debt falls within the scope of the provisions of that text.
Black lists, «Bad debtors» and «fraudsters» central data bases in respect of personal data protection. Report adopted at the plenary session dated March 27, 2003
In 2003, the CNIL provided its opinion on the circulation on the Internet of pictures and IDs of drivers who did not return their rented vehicles. Such project has already been carried out in other EU member countries and is a perfect illustration of the problem raised by the default or fraud files in respect of public liberties and citizens’ fundamental rights, beyond the mere breach of privacy.