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France: CNIL publishes guidance on collection of athlete disability data

On May 14, 2024, the French data protection authority (CNIL) published guidance regarding the collection of paralympic athletes' sensitive data. In particular, CNIL highlighted that the collection of health data, including any information on disability, is considered sensitive data under Article 9(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

CNIL outlined the respective legal basis for collecting information on an athlete's disability, including:

  • only collecting data on the disability of athletes if it is strictly necessary to meet a specific use, such as issue or renewal of a sports license or registration with a sports club; and
  • identifying a use case authorizing the collection of disability data pursuant to Article 9(2) of the GDPR, such as the consent of the athlete or their legal representative (CNIL notes that the consent must be freely given and without constraint).

Notably, CNIL clarified that a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) is not required prior to the collection and use of disability data, unless the processing of such data is on a 'large scale.'

You can read the guidance, only available in French, here.