France Likely to Use AI Surveillance at Paris Olympics Despite Protests

Hot potato: In a rare (nowadays) story about non-generative artificial intelligence, the French National Assembly approved the use of AI to help video surveillance of the Paris 2024 Olympics. The move comes despite opposition from human rights groups who say its use is a potential violation of civil liberties and paves the way for the future use of algorithm-based invasive video surveillance across Europe.

According to RegThe French government has passed article 7 of the pending Olympic and Paralympic Games 2024 law allowing the use of automated analysis of surveillance video from fixed cameras and drones.

The system is said to detect certain suspicious events in public places, such as abnormal behavior, predetermined events, and influxes of people.

While the AI ​​surveillance plan could be challenged in the highest constitutional court, France hopes to be the first country in the European Union to use such a system.

France appears to have ignored a warning from 38 civil society organizations that have voiced their concerns about the technology. open letter. They say the proposed surveillance measures violate international human rights law because they run counter to the principles of necessity and proportionality and pose unacceptable risks to fundamental rights such as the right to privacy, freedom of assembly and association, and the right to non-discrimination. .

The letter warns that if an artificial intelligence system is introduced, it will set a precedent for unreasonable and disproportionate surveillance in public places.

“If the purpose of algorithm-controlled cameras is to detect specific suspicious events in public places, they will necessarily capture and analyze the physiological characteristics and behavior of people present in these places, such as their body position, gait, movements, gestures or appearance. “, the open letter says. “The isolation of individuals from the background, without which it would be impossible to achieve the goal of the system, would mean “unique identification””.

As is often the case with AI surveillance, there are fears of discrimination. “The use of algorithmic systems to fight crime has resulted in excessive policing, structural discrimination in the criminal justice system, and excessive criminalization of racial, ethnic and religious minorities,” the groups add.

Mher Hakobyan, Amnesty International’s AI Regulatory Advisor, said this decision puts France at risk of becoming a dystopian surveillance state forever.

The Regulatory Commission of the French National Commission for Informatics and Liberties (CNIL) supported the bill on the condition that no biometric data is processed, but privacy advocates do not believe this is possible.

Daniel Loifer, political advisor to digital rights organization Access Now, said: “You can do two things: object detection or human behavior analysis – the latter is biometric processing.”

Title: Henning Schlottmann

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