Myriam QUEMENER is a magistrate of the judicial order with a doctorate in law, works as an expert for the Ministry of Justice in the fight against cybercrime and is currently lawyer at the Economic and Financial Investigation Division of the Paris Court of Appeal. Myriam QUEMENER agreed to answer questions from our newsletter “La Lettre du DPO”.
What were the key steps in your career that led you to become interested in digital technology?
“I have been a magistrate since 1986. After two years as a Deputy Prosecutor (procureur adjoint) at the High Court of Créteil, I was appointed as an Advocate General (avocat general) at the Versailles Court of Appeal in December 2013. Digital technology was initially a personal passion that I developed after having carried out some work on the topic “Minors and Internet” in the early 2000s, at the Directorate for Criminal Matters of the Ministry of Justice. From that time, I observed that Internet could be a perfect vector to facilitate the offenders’ actions. In September 2015, I joined the Ministry of Internal Affairs as legal advisor for the Prefect, where I was responsible for the fight against cyber threats, and then for the Ministerial Delegate for Security Industries and the Fight against Cyber Threats (DMISC) at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. I am also an expert on cybercrime at the Council of Europe and the author of a thesis on economic and financial crime in the digital age, published in 2015, as well as of several books and articles on digital technology and cybercrime.“
What are your current responsibilities and future projects in digital law?
“I am currently Advocate General at the Economic and Financial Investigation Division of the Paris Court of Appeal, which increasingly deals with cybercrime cases. In this capacity, I handle in particular requests for annulment of proceedings, based for example on the conditions of access to data and the fragility of digital evidence. Digital evidence is often a determining factor in the fight against cybercrime and its cross-border implications, but also against all forms of organized and financial crime that increasingly use the ever-changing mysteries of digital technology. I also handle appeal cases in relation to seizures of crypto-assets. Finally, I am a member of various working groups. I participated in the drafting of the report “Criminal law facing cyber-attacks“, published by the think tank Le Club des Juristes in April 2021.”
What is your vision for the future of digital law and data transfers?
“The transfer of personal data is an important and very complex issue for companies. It means that companies have to hire expert lawyers and DPOs. Although the CNIL, the French data protection authority, is doing a very important educational work, all the parties concerned should become familiar with this matter. In this respect, the Commission has a leading role to play. Even if we are experiencing a blurring of the boundaries between the different legal fields, the provisions of the GDPR are quite unknown to the magistrates of the judicial order. However, the CJEU’s decision of 16th July 2020 (Schrems II case), which invalidated the Privacy Shield and declared the inadequacy of standard contractual clauses to regulate transfers from Europe to the United States, is a victory for the GDPR and an opportunity for a real European digital sovereignty.”