A plan to allow the French government to spy on certain people using their sex toys is "going too far", a member of the French parliament has declared. (EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON)


French sex-toy spying plan ‘goes too far’, MP fumes


A somewhat bizarre plan to enable the French Government to spy on people via their sex toys is “going too far”, an outraged French MP says.

Ugo Bernalicis, of the Left-wing La France Insoumise (LFI) party, denounced the proposed measures during a debate on the Justice Programming Bill on July 4. The plan would allow law enforcement agencies in the country to hack into smart devices, such as high-end sex toys as well as phones and laptops.

Proponents backing the draft document argued that would let authorities spy on individuals suspected of being involved in serious criminal activity, and gather data against them.

According to Bernalicis, however, hacking into someone’s sex toys to spy on them is taking things “too far”.

“These connected objects also allow – unfortunately or fortunately, I don’t know – [people] to film and take sound,” he said, describing the bill as handing disproportionate powers to French law enforcement agencies.

He went on to slam the government as having “no limits” regarding what he said was the invasion of personal privacy, adding such measures put France “on a slippery slope in terms of surveillance”.

Bernalicis put forward an amendment that would specifically exclude sex toys from the bill.

However, those backing the proposed measure disagreed, including Minister for Justice Éric Dupond-Moretti, who accused the Left-wing MP of presiding over a “circus”.

That sentiment was seemingly shared by most in parliament, with Bernalicis’ suggestion being shot down by 119 votes to 30.

Nevertheless, the notion that sex toys carry technology good enough to use for spying on people seems to have amused some French parliamentarians.

Andy Kerbrat, another LFI politician, joked that anyone confused by the technical details of modern sex toys should consult France’s economy minister.

“Minister Bruno Le Maire could provide us with a lot of details,” he posited, apparently poking fun at the senior politician’s pastime of writing and publishing erotic literature.

However, others expressed serious concern over the bill, which has been described by critics as opening the door to “widespread surveillance” in France.