Biometric surveillance and the 2024 Paris Olympics: why the counter-attack is being organized


Alexander Boero

February 14, 2023 at 4:15 p.m.


CCTV cameras © Shutterstock

© GoodStudio / Shutterstock

La Quadrature du Net has just launched a campaign to demonstrate its opposition to one of the articles of the law on the 2024 Olympic Games. This could indeed lead to the use of automated video surveillance.

The coming weeks will be decisive for the future of biometric surveillance in France. Next month, deputies will have to vote on the bill relating to the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, already adopted by their counterparts in the Senate. La Quadrature du Net has more particularly in its sights article 7 of this law which, in the event of adoption, will authorize the use, albeit on an experimental basis and until June 30, 2025, of surveillance and algorithmic processing. through what is known as VSA, Algorithmic Video Surveillance.

No facial recognition, but a behavioral analysis similar to algorithmic video surveillance

La Quadrature du Net, which has always opposed technological surveillance in all its forms, launched this Monday, February 13, a campaign against this famous article 7. It denounces “ an unprecedented change of scale in the surveillance and repressive capabilities of the state and its police “.

The article tells us that the images collected using surveillance cameras, drones or other vehicles equipped with a video capture system may ” be subject to algorithmic processing whose sole purpose is to detect, in real time, predetermined events likely to present or reveal these risks [ndlr : atteintes graves à la sécurité des personnes ou terrorisme] and to report them with a view to the implementation of the necessary measures by the services » relief (police, gendarmerie, fire, relief and others).

If the government has already excluded the use of any facial recognition technique, the bill nevertheless aims to carry out behavioral analysis using surveillance cameras. Algorithms are able to identify the fact of remaining static in the public space, of walking in the opposite direction of the crowd, of grouping together in the street, or even of having the face covered explains La Quadrature du Net.

Contacting MPs: a solution to turn things around?

The association for the defense of rights and freedoms denounces biometric surveillance tools ” inherently dangerous that no safeguard, legal or technical, could contain. LQDN even compares article 7 of the law to a threat that would aim to bring down ” the last ramparts that protect us from a total surveillance society “.

As part of her campaign, she calls on ” relentlessly appeal to deputies of the presidential majority (Renaissance, Horizons, Modem) and of the PS (the latter chose to abstain in the Senate) in order to push them to vote against this article 7. If the telephone call does not work, LQDN recommends sending e-mails, letters and the like to relay any opinion unfavorable to the text.

Organize public meetings to mobilize ” And ” talk about it around you and on social networks » are all means suggested by the organization to block article 7. On its site, it even offers a tool allowing directly to obtain the email address (professional and public, useful details) of the members of the National Assembly to contact.

Sources: Squaring the Net, National Assembly


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