The legal framework created by the Intelligence Act of 24 July 2015 aims to "guarantee compliance with the right to privacy in all its forms, including the secrecy of private correspondence, personal data protection and inviolability of the home." The introductory article in Book VIII of the Internal Security Code, entitled "Intelligence", stipulates that "the public authority may only infringe privacy in the cases provided by law to protect the public interest, to the extent permitted by law and in accordance with the principle of proportionality."
The principle of respect for privacy is guaranteed at every level in the hierarchy of norms. Every day, this principle is invoked in the administrative and ordinary courts, which decide on the level of proportionality in case of a claim for infringement of privacy. The right to privacy has been an integral part of Article 9 of France's Civil Code since the law of 17 July 1970 was enacted to strengthen respect for citizens' individual rights. In 1999, the Constitutional Council recognised its constitutional value by considering that the freedom proclaimed by Article 2 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen implied respect for privacy.
This principle is also enshrined in European and international law.
This right is set out in Article 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed in Strasbourg on 4 November 1950 and has given rise to extensive case law in the European Court of Human Rights. According to the terms of Article 8, "1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. 2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others."
Finally, this principle was incorporated into Article 7 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
To provide ex-ante and ex-post oversight, the CNCTR draws on all national standards that relate to the right to privacy and which are interpreted, where applicable, by judicial, administrative and international case law in this area.