The French National Assembly has approved the use of algorithmic video surveillance during the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Writes about it The Register.
In particular, the Parliament adopted Article 7, which allows automatic analysis of video surveillance from fixed and unmanned cameras.
According to the bill, the observation will take place “on an experimental basis and until June 30, 2025.” The authors of the document argue that the goal of the initiative is to ensure the safety of sports, entertainment or cultural events.
Video surveillance systems will record people not only in the competition venues, but also on the streets, as well as in public transport.
Opponents of the bill are concerned that it opens the door to future surveillance. 38 groups and organizations criticized the document in open letter.
According to human rights activists, GDPR defines biometric data as any physical, physiological, or behavioral characteristic that identifies a person.
“If the goal of algorithm-controlled cameras is to detect specific suspicious events in public places, they will definitely analyze the physiological characteristics and behavior of people. […]such as body position, gait, movements, gestures or appearance,” the letter says.
Human rights activists have said that isolating individuals from the background, without which it would be impossible to achieve the goal of the system, would mean “unique identification”.
ENCL and its allies say France will be the first EU member to explicitly legalize automatic surveillance. According to them, this violates international law.
Despite the established time frame for the use of surveillance, rights groups argue that such technologies do not disappear without a trace. They referred to the continued use of similar systems in London and Moscow, which were also being implemented for the safety of sporting events.
Amnesty International’s advisor on AI regulation Mher Hakobyan condemned the passage of the bill.
“While France is positioning itself as a champion of human rights around the world, its decision to legalize mass AI surveillance during the Olympic Games will lead to a full-scale attack on the rights to privacy, protest and freedom of assembly and expression,” he said.
Hakobyan added that surveillance technologies tend to be disproportionately targeted at minorities.
Recall that in February, the French authorities accelerated the development of a law that would allow the use of AI video surveillance in public places.
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