CNIL-Inria 2023 Prize: two French researchers rewarded for their work on electronic voting

22 May 2024

On May 22, 2024, during the 17th international conference of the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP), the CNIL and Inria awarded Alexandre Debant and Lucca Hirschi for their paper "Reversing, Breaking, and Fixing the French Legislative Election E-Voting Protocol".

On May 22, 2024, the co-presidents of the CNIL-Inria Prize Jury, Catuscia Palemidessi and Vincent Toubiana, and Benjamin Nguyen, vice-president, presented the Privacy Award to Alexandre Debant and Lucca Hirschi of the Université de Lorraine (France) for their article "Reversing, Breaking, and Fixing the French Legislative Election E-Voting Protocol".

Presented in 2023 at the Usenix Security conference, this article analyzes the e-voting solution implemented during the last legislative elections to enable French citizens oversea to vote. The authors identified several vulnerabilities and proposed fixes that were subsequently deployed.

This work, which is based on in-depth technical analysis, had a very tangible impact on the integrity and confidentiality of votes. The authors have also shared their experience of the large-scale deployment of technical solutions resulting from research work, particularly when this deployment has to take account of regulatory constraints. This insight and the researchers very constructive collaboration with stakeholders are also particularly noteworthy.  

As such, the jury considered that the results presented by this research team clearly have an effect not only on the general public, but also on suppliers of electronic voting solutions and the scientific community as a whole.

A second article also received very positive reviews from the jury: "Marketing to Children Through Online Targeted Advertising: Targeting Mechanisms and Legal Aspects" by Tinhinane Medjkoune, Oana Goga and Juliette Senechal. The authors of this article offer a clear legal analysis of the legislation surrounding the targeting of minors and, in the light of this analysis, evaluate the possibility of targeting minors on the Youtube video platform. This article looks at a topical issue and the practical application of new legislation.

About the CNIL - Inria Data Protection Award

Each year, this prize rewards teams of researchers based at least partly in the European Union who are working to improve the protection of personal data or privacy. Through the recognition given to research, it helps to make the challenges of data protection, and the solutions for preserving it, more visible to the general public. Finally, it provides an opportunity to raise awareness of data protection issues among the scientific community and decision-makers.


For the 2023 CNIL-Inria Award, the CNIL and Inria relied on a jury of 32 internationally renowned researchers, whom the CNIL would like to sincerely thank for their investment and the time they devoted to evaluating the numerous articles received: