France | Artificial intelligence with cameras and drones to monitor crowds
Defence Redefined
Published on 13/02/2023 at 14:49

The French government is under attack over plans to use camera surveillance systems and the help of artificial intelligence in the run-up to the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Last week, the vast majority of the French Senate voted in favor of this bill. Sports Minister, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, thanked Senators for the swift adoption of the text, saying it will promote the best possible organization of the Paris 2024 Games.

The legislation includes plans to use artificial intelligence for the first time in France to detect and monitor suspicious body language or crowd movements through closed-circuit cameras and drones and then alert the police.

AI systems will be used to monitor crowds, but could also be used around stadiums, roads and on public transport. The law stipulates that these smart cameras can be used on an experimental basis until June 2025, that is, after the Olympics which end in August 2024.

France is trying to avoid a repeat of the chaos of last year’s Champions League final at the Stade de France. Fans, including children, were then tear-gassed and many reported being robbed and attacked around the stadium.

However, human rights organizations have denounced the bill, calling it intrusive and dangerous to human freedom, as Amnesty International’s Katia Roux explains:

The French government stressed that the bill would not include facial recognition technology. Authorities say it will significantly help the police keep crowds safe as the French capital is expected to welcome 13 million people for the Olympics.

Source: Euronews

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