In all the years I’ve been travelling to Cannes and using cyber-cafes and later WiFi, I can’t remember ever having to show ID. Simon Glynn of RiveriaOne, however, posted an interesting item on his company’s blog. RiveriaOne provides IT, network and security systems during the trade fairs and also in private residences. He pointed to a rather little-known law in France which in theory affects anyone who uses the Internet while in Cannes…
“Since 2006, any establishment in France providing Public Internet access must have in place a method of retaining user identity and internet activity for a period of one year.
The law (Décret n°2006-358 du 24 mars 2006) extends telecom data retention possibilities, by putting cybercafe owners and WiFi providers (whether access is free or not) in the same category as telecom operators. This means, in practice, that cybercafe owners, as well as bars, restaurants and hotels will have to ask their customers for their IDs for Internet use in their establishments and record their online activity. Any logged data may also be seized directly by the police, without any judicial order.”
I read it twice to make sure that I got it right, and it still reads the same: our browsing in Cannes should in theory be logged and can be made available to the police. Hmm. Worth knowing. But as he points out, very few establishments actually ask for ID, although if you use an access-related WiFi (such as those given out by Midem or the Festival), you can presumably be identified.