The Gendarmerie Nationale uses data to strengthen French national security
In 2010, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) named France the 2016 host of the European Championship. Paris was also set to host the UN Climate Change Conference, COP 21, in late 2015, another major international event with high-stake security issues. How to make sure dangerous individuals would not have access to very sensitive areas?
Two deadly terrorist attacks in 2015 and 2016 pushed the French Ministry of Interior to further strengthen its authority over the automated processing of personal data in the context of the fight against terrorism. Called ACCReD (Automation of Centralized Consultation of Data Information), this system allows the automatic and simultaneous analysis of files, in particular, that of individuals considered threats to national security.
The initial difficulty was that all databases were independent. To access the information, it was necessary to consult them one by one and sometimes to type the same name 4 to 5 times, which took an infinite amount of time. This is where Talend came in.
Cross-referencing multiple government security files
Talend has become a strategic figure in the National Gendarmerie’s efforts to ensure inter-application exchanges for security data in the interest of public safety. Talend receives a list of identities to screen, accesses hundreds of applications and dozens of existing files, processes 3 TB of data every day and returns the information, all in real time.
This automated access of all security data is highly sensitive. Given such complexity, the government adopted CNIL recommendations and has issued a restricted list of users authorized to access intelligence files. And every night, Talend uses various data sources to construct a “pivotal HR repository,” which factors in certain elements such as relocations or assignment changes, thereby restricting file access to authorized individuals only. Ultimately, a person rather than the system decides who is qualified to access the data. And the overall results are subject to the approval of the Officers of the Judicial Police (OPJ).
At the core of French national security applications
Today, Talend can analyze more than one million identities screened per month compared to 300,000 requests per year at the beginning of the project.
The system has opened up to security-risk operations (public transport operator, transporter, nuclear, etc.) for the monitoring of authorizations to access these vitally important facilities and to ensure that their employees records do not show any misconduct. Police officer mobility applications also benefit from the system. Today, during a roadside check, an agent enters an identity and/or a license plate and chooses the verifications to be made. The exact same procedure is now used for automated border controls in French airports, which takes between 1 and 20 seconds.
The system also handles operational issues, such as geo-localizing patrols, monitoring vehicle consumption and sending fuel bills to the Ministry of Finance for payment. There is not a single application of the Gendarmerie and the Police that does not consume or produce data without going through Talend.
One million identities screened each month
1 to 30 seconds to return information
Talend has become a strategic figure in the National Gendarmerie’s efforts to ensure inter-application exchanges for security data in the interest of public safety.