ECHR decision of June 22, 2017 in the case of "Aycaguer (Aycaguer) v. France" (application No. 8806/12).
In 2012, the applicant was assisted in preparing the application. Subsequently, the application was communicated to France.
In the case, the applicant successfully complained about the established period of storage of DNA samples of convicted criminals irrespective of the gravity of the crime and in the absence of an opportunity to demand their destruction. In the case there was a violation of the requirements of Article 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
In 2008, the applicant was sentenced to two months 'imprisonment with a delay in the execution of the punishment for striking the gendarmes with an umbrella during a demonstration of the farmers' union. Then the applicant was ordered to undergo biological testing for the purpose of registration in the national computer database of DNA (FNAEG) for persons convicted of certain offenses (listed in the legislation), from which the applicant refused. He was not registered in the database and was fined for this refusal of 500 euros.
ISSUES OF LAW
When it comes to a particularly important aspect of someone's life or person, the limits of the discretion of the state are usually narrowed. The protection of personal data plays a major role in the realization of the individual's right to respect for his private life, as embodied in Article 8 of the Convention. Thus, domestic legislation should ensure that it has adequate safeguards.
The considerations set out below compelled the Court to conclude that, in the absence of a fair balance between competing public and private interests in the case, the authorities of the respondent State went beyond their discretion and that interference with the applicant's right to respect for his private life was disproportionate.
(a) Duration of data storage. In 2010, the Constitutional Council of France recognized the provisions of the legislation on the disputed database as being consistent with the Constitution of the country provided that "the length of storage of such personal data will remain proportionate in view of the purpose of the database, the nature and / or severity of these crimes." In connection with this reservation, specific actions were not taken.
According to the Code of Criminal Procedure of France, the length of storage of DNA samples can not exceed "40 years" for persons convicted of one of the crimes listed in it. This maximum period should be set by decree. The absence of a decree means that the 40-year period is not the maximum, but the usual in practice. Thus, at present, the duration of storage is not differentiated according to the nature and / or severity of the crime committed. However, a wide range of different situations appear to be within the scope of this database, potentially covering particularly serious crimes (for example, crimes against sexual inviolability, terrorism, crimes against humanity and trafficking in persons).
The present case (regarding unidentified gendarmes who were struck by an umbrella in the context of political and trade union activities) is clearly different from those related to such grave crimes as organized crime and sexual assault.
(b) Removal procedure. Access to such a procedure is foreseen only for suspects, and not for convicts (such as the applicant). However, the Court considers that convicted persons should also be allowed to file a petition for the removal of stored data.
The violation of the requirements of Article 8 of the Convention (unanimously) was committed.
In the application of Article 41 of the Convention. The Court awarded the applicant EUR 3,000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage.