Despite obvious resistance, within days of Emmanuel Macron’s re-election, France began progressing with the fourth dose of Covid injections for everyone and introduced a “digital identity assurance” app.
The European Union (“EU”) as a whole is planning to introduce their digital identity application sometime this year to enable people to enjoy the “greater flexibility ideal for post-pandemic life.”
However, a mere two days after his victory over Marine Le Pen, Macron launched a new law compliant with Brussels’ demands – the creation of the “Digital Identity Guarantee Service” (“SGIN”) which will allow French citizens to have a digital identity card in compliance with the EU Commission’s European Digital Identity package.
The move sparked the fury of Les Patriotes leader Florian Philippot who called on French voters to fight against the new legislation, he tweeted:
“Just after the election, the government announces the launch of ‘a digital identity application’! The goal: to put social credit in the Chinese way. control and surveillance company! Let’s totally reject this application and fight by any means!”
And other French citizens also took to Twitter to voice their disapproval:
“One more step towards absolute control of citizens.”
“It’s all starting to get very dystopian… The SGIN to connect to Twitter, Facebook or any other social exchange platform.”
“What is optional and trivial at the beginning will be essential and cumbersome in the long term. Resist!”
“In France for the moment, soon the same everywhere.”
Macron’s election victory has set off massive protests. On Wednesday, during a public appearance, Macron was pelted with tomatoes.
To make matters worse, rumours of fraud during last week’s presidential election are circulating. Last year the French Government announced a decision to create an advanced polling system which would see ballots taken a week before using election voting machines. Philippot criticised the decision which sparked concern it could increase voter fraud.
On election night of France’s 2022 presidential election, a French TV channel, France 2, showed a dramatic drop in votes counted for Le Pen – reminiscent of the disputed 2020 US Presidential Election where vote switching was seen on TV.
At 09:10 p.m. Le Pen had 13,899,494 votes. At 10:45 p.m. Le Pen had 11,558,051 votes. This was due to “a technical error which was then quickly rectified,” France 2 told Le Monde. However, unlike the 2020 US presidential election, “Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen both accepted the results of the 2022 French presidential election,” Le Monde wrote.
On Tuesday, 26 April, the French government signed a decree allowing the creation of the new SGIN system.
The new system comes in place of the previous attempt in 2019 by the government to implement a digital identity. Dubbed the Alicem, the proposed system proved controversial and was ultimately scrapped over backlash over the use of facial recognition and fingerprints.
Although the new digital identity will not record personal features such as fingerprints, it will contain details such as last name, first name, date of birth, photograph, postal address and e-mail address.
The SGIN app is intended to make it easier to summarise and digitise information from biometric identity cards when using public and private services, TKP wrote. It aims to make it easier to scan French people’s biometric identity cards. The smartphone program is voluntary and will only be accessible to people with the latest French identity card and a “state-of-the-art” smartphone will be required, one with a Near-Field Communication (“NFC”) chip.
The government text explains that the app will “generate electronic certificates with the only identity attributes, the transmission of which is necessary (…) to a third party of its choice.” They attach importance to data protection and would only ever transmit the information that is required for the respective service.
Similar to “ID Austria” introduced last month, the app is also intended to further digitise administrative procedures. The connection with public services such as health insurance, taxes or post would be easier because then you can “digitally identify yourself” without having to enter your data. One can draw comparisons to Google or Microsoft’s Authenticator apps. The SGIN app will be developed in accordance with the EU Commission’s European digital ID package, the government said.
It is not clear how broad the use or purposes of the digital identity application will be or whether the government will seek to use the identity app as a means of social control. However, the French government has previously admitted that the use of a “vaccine passport” was in fact a “disguised” form of a vaccine mandate intended to make it difficult for non-vaccinated people to function in society and therefore bend the people to the government’s will.
France pushed ahead with digitisation under Macron in his first term. General practitioners and bank branches closed in their droves and were replaced by digital stations. Those who don’t have internet access have been faced with a dilemma for a long time when it comes to doctor’s appointments or a checking account. Now they’re faced with digital identity.
France’s move towards a centralised digital identity, and the corresponding resistance from people concerned with a Chinese-style social credit system, is a conflict that’s intensifying in many countries throughout the world.
The push for more Covid injections
The day after Macron’s re-election, the French press launched a campaign for additional doses of Covid injections. “We do not rule out that at the beginning of the school year”, in September, “it is necessary to redo a fourth dose for the entire population,” Professor Bruno Mégarbane was quoted as saying.
Philippot is also in opposition to Macron’s Covid regime. On Thursday he asked on Twitter whether Macron would wait for an “all variants” vaccine from Pfizer before he declared vaccination mandatory. He warned the President: “In that case, total resistance would be accompanied by total disobedience!”