This is an explosive topic. Should we implement facial recognition in public space on the occasion of the Paris Olympics in 2024? According to our information, it won’t. The government has just decided to avoid trial under general supervision. “The measure that will be proposed in terms of artificial intelligence to facilitate the work of ensuring the safety of competitions, within the framework of the bill regarding the organization of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, completely and expressly excludes the use of facial recognition,” confirms the Ministry of Sports. “Biometric data will not be used,” the future text clarifies.
On October 12, Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castera voiced her doubts before the Senate Culture Committee. “I understand the expectations and importance of facial recognition, especially after the events at the Stade de France,” she said, “over the controversy that erupted in her early days in government. But at present, legal provisions relating to safety do not provide for these devices. We are working on intelligent, but anonymous algorithms for managing the movement of people in transport. And even these video protection devices must be tested by Cnil and the State Council before implementation. For example, so-called “augmented” cameras will be able to detect the presence of an object abandoned by its owner on a public road.
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Nevertheless, the discussion was lively. Supporters of facial recognition, for their part, recalled that this technology has been used many times at major sporting events hosted by other countries to prevent the risk of terrorism or crime. Three senators proposed the idea of an Olympics experiment in a recent report.
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On the other hand, in the Assembly, Sacha Houllier, the Macronist President of the Legal Commission, was strongly opposed to this, believing that it represented a “red line”. The information mission was also entrusted to MPs Philippe Latombe and Philippe Gosselin. “We are satisfied that facial recognition is explicitly excluded from the text, including very clearly in the explanatory memorandum,” responds Sascha Houllier. However, there will be other points for discussion in the framework of the management of the spectators of the Olympic Games according to this text.”