France: Suspected drug-trafficker hopes for human rights backing against police electronic surveillance

A suspected drug trafficker hopes Strasbourg judges will back his complaint that France violated his human rights by placing his car and telephone under electronic surveillance.

Ben Faiza v. France (no. 31446/12)

The applicant, Mohamed Ben Faiza, is a French national who was born in 1982. He was under court supervision at the time of consideration of his application.

The case concerns a judicial investigation into Ben Faiza’s involvement in drug-trafficking offences. During the investigation the authorities installed a GPS device on Ben Faiza’s vehicle in order to geolocate him in real time, and also sent a judicial request to a mobile telephone operating company for a list of cell towers activated by his telephone in order to detect his movements ex post facto.

Relying on Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life), Ben Faiza alleges that both the installation of a geolocation device on his vehicle and the police request to the mobile telephone company, as authorised by the Public Prosecutor, infringed his right to respect for his private life.

The European Court of human Rights will deliver its judgement on 8 February.

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