France bets on smart cameras for Paris Olympics security

The Senate is now studying the bill related to the 2024 Paris Olympics, with public surveillance by smart cameras. They will be used to automatically detect disturbances during concentrations of people. What are the challenges of this proposal?

We remember the demonstrations that took place more than two years ago before the review of the “global security” law. After being planned by the Council of State, this one simply confirms the text without major changes, or controversy. The digital component is already concerned, but it is not much compared to the new bill proposed by the government to frame the Paris Olympics in 2024.

Amended last Wednesday by the Senate for review in the public session before the same meeting on Tuesday, January 24, one article among others focused on the fears. Article 7 allows the use of automated CCTV systems that will use Artificial Intelligence to detect ” dangerous situations for the safety of people, such as the movement of people “. The devices in question are not listed, but, in addition to fixed CCTV cameras, the use of drones is not excluded. The aircraftaircraft is now available to law enforcement as of January 20.

When we mix in the use of AI for automatic recognition through video surveillance, we can’t help but think that the use of automated facial recognition could be an ambush. The government didn’t explain it, but giving carte blanche to an AI to monitor makes it possible to lay the foundations. In any case, this is what the association of La Quadrature du Net fears.

Even the CNIL is watching the grain. Asked by France Info this morning, its president Marie-Laure Denis explained that the use of these AIs will not be “open-bar” and will be reserved only for ” sports arenas, close to transportation “. The organization will closely monitor the creation of algorithms and evaluate its learning. The president stressed that the government should not take advantage of it to ” introduce facial recognition “. Also got up periodperiod of data retention. At this point, Marie-Laure Denis explains that ” CNIL will ensure that this data is deleted when necessary “.

The president of Cnil called on the government not to use facial recognition. Sign of an intention? © Twitter, FranceInfo

Durable temporarily

And then there is the framework of algorithms. Futura explained yesterday that an AI trained to see people can be fooled when you move hidden in a box. Can’t AI see a breach or crowd movement where there isn’t one? To avoid slippage, the text provides that the monitoring device is controlled by people who can interrupt it at any time.

In addition to the technical aspects, there are also fears that this law could become permanent and not limited to the 2024 Olympic Games. First, the bill proposes to experiment with the process during major sporting events. , from the entry into force of the law until June 30, 2025. By arguing with the necessarily anxiety-provoking term of “terrorist risk”, devices can therefore be used beyond the framework of the 2024 Olympic Games.

Then, it should be noted that this is more than just sport, as the law will also apply to recreational or cultural events. Ultimately, these provisions show that the intention of this project is permanent. This is in any case the opinion of the Council of State. The institution recently explained in an opinion that the text was designed to be applicable outside of the Olympic Games period. As a guardrailguardrail, the law explains that experimentation will systematically be subject to the authorization of the prefecture. It remains to be seen what the decision of the Senate will be in its public session today.

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