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AFP Calls on Marketing Firm for Internal Probe into Journalists’ Abilities

Tuesday 11 June 2013

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In an internal memo circulated to AFP journalists worldwide, the AFP human resources department has asked them to fill in an online form saying which languages they can speak and work in.

So far, so ordinary: a perfectly legitimate in-house request leading to employee information that must necessarily remain confidential. One would expect such a study to be carried out either via a web form on the ASAP intranet server, or a simple exchange of "afp.com" e-mails.

Which is why were to say the least astonished to find that the online form in question is in fact run by an e-marketing company (http://www.oxemis.com/) and that the page used is not only available over the public internet but can be filled in by anyone, independently of their involvement in AFP!

Our sense of unease was amplified by the fact that none of the pages generated for the study made any mention whatsoever of France’s data protection laws ("informatique et liberté" - http://www.cnil.fr/).

Even worse, AFP management appears to trust blindly in the assurances of confidentiality provided by the marketing company involved.

Questioned by SUD, the RH director for editorial affairs, stated that Oxemis "promises to make no use [of the data] for any purpose other than carrying out its contract, and ensures confidentiality."

SUD-AFP has frequently denounced the poor quality of AFP’s intranet site, but we simply cannot believe that it is beyond its capabilities to allow the creation of a simple web form for internal use.

Pending the creation of such a tool, SUD calls on management to withdraw the Oxemis project, and advises journalists not to fill in the online form in question.

SUD-AFP, Tuesday June 11, 2013