Press review
9 June 2023

Press review – Week of 5 June 2023

This week's press review details the suspicions of favoritism hanging over Olivier Dussopt, Minister of Labor, Employment and Integration, and those of price manipulation concerning Casino's current Chairman and CEO, Jean-Charles Naouri. News in criminal law concerns the dismantling of an international drug trafficking network at Roissy, and the publication of a report from the NGO SOS Villages d’enfants regarding the concealment of internal sexual assault and bribery cases. In the field of data protection, the CNIL recently issued an opinion on the proposed merger of the “carte Vitale” and identity cards, while the US justice system dismissed an action against the Meta company on privacy grounds. Finally, an American lawyer used non-existent jurisprudence in one of his cases, invented by the ChatGPT artificial intelligence tool.


Olivier Dussopt, accused of favoritism, goes on trial in November

Olivier Dussopt, the current Minister of Labor, Employment and Integration, is currently being prosecuted for favoritism. In 2009, he is accused of having favored the Société d’aménagement urbain et rural (SAUR), a company specializing in water distribution and treatment, when awarding public contracts. The investigation, launched by the French National Financial Prosecutor’s Office, initially focused on corruption and illegal interest-taking.  Olivier Dussopt, who held the position of mayor at the time of the events, is liable to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of 30,000 euros. > Read article


Jean-Charles Naouri, CEO of Casino, no longer in custody as part of an investigation into stock price manipulation

As part of a preliminary investigation opened in 2020 following a report from the Autorité des marchés financiers, Casino Group CEO Jean-Charles Naouri was taken into custody on 1 June. He is suspected of having committed, in 2018 and 2019, the offenses of “organized price manipulation, active and passive private corruption” and “insider trading”. His custody was lifted the same evening. The investigation is focusing on his and Casino Group’s links with press manager Nicolas Miguet, who has been convicted on several occasions by the Autorité des marchés financiers, notably for price manipulation. > Read article


From the Caribbean to the Paris region via Roissy: the scheme of the cocaine trafficking brothers and the dirty customs officer

Three brothers are suspected of having bribed a customs officer at Roissy airport to smuggle drugs from Latin America. In all, 11 suspects have been indicted for international drug trafficking, involving at least 14 suitcases each containing at least 20 to 30 kg of cocaine – with a street value of 6 million euros. The scheme involved a trafficker managing the arrival of the suitcases from South America, and couriers sent to pick them up under the surveillance of a customs official, in order to avoid controls. The trafficking was revealed through intercepted conversations between traffickers.> Read article


Cases of sexual violence against children hidden for forty years by SOS Children’s Villages

According to a report published by the new management of the NGO SOS Villages d’Enfants, since the 1980s the organization has concealed numerous acts of sexual violence against minors and corruption. The report was commissioned by the new CEO in 2021, and denounces child pregnancies following rape, as well as forced abortions. These incidents are said to have occurred in several countries, and whistleblowers are said to have been intimidated into silence.> Read article


Lawyer cites fake cases generated by ChatGPT in legal brief

In a dispute between a Colombian airline and one of its passengers, a New York lawyer cited false court rulings generated by ChatGPT in a federal court filing. He faces disciplinary action. This high-profile incident is a reminder of the need for lawyers to verify legal information generated by artificial intelligence-powered tools.> Read article


Merger of the carte Vitale and the identification card: CNIL points out data protection concerns

Although the project has been on the drawing board since 2019, the French Minister for Public Accounts has just announced plans to merge the national identity card and the “carte Vitale”. The aim of this measure is to combat social fraud in the provision of healthcare. The CNIL reiterated the need to respect data protection principles when implementing this project. It also considered that integrating the social security number into the electronic identity card was the least risky and least intrusive scenario, while insisting that it was essential to ensure that “the use of the identity card instead of the “carte Vitale” actually reduces cases of social fraud”. Nevertheless, it opposed the creation of a biometric “carte Vitale” on the grounds of “the sensitivity of the data involved and the significant risks to individuals in the event of a computer attack”.> Read article


Judge dismisses Washington DC privacy lawsuit against Facebook owner Meta

The action brought in 2018 against Meta Platforms Inc, owner of the social network Facebook, for brach of privacy due to a violation of the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Act, has been dismissed by a US federal court. The court found that the company had not misled consumers during the Cambridge Analytica scandal. At the time, the company had been the target of worldwide criticism after revealing that a personality quiz offered on Facebook by a third-party company had collected information on 87 million users, which it then sold to the British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. In rejecting the appeal, the judges relied on Facebook’s data collection and processing policy. The policy warned users that their personal data could be collected and used by third parties, and gave advice on how to limit the sharing of such data.> Read article

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