[DW-World.de] France maintains long tradition of data protection
In 1974 [...] a draft security law known as Project Safari called for the government to use social security numbers to interconnect all personal administrative data. "It was very, very bad political move to hunt the citizen through their data," said Jeremie Zimmerman, a founder of internet advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.
The CNIL (Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertes), the French data protection agency, was created as part of the 1978 law. The agency now handles some 5,000 complaints and information requests a year.