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IPFS News Link • France

Critics claim Paris using 2024 Games to introduce Big Brother video surveillance

•, by: Romain HOUEIX

Article 7 is the most controversial aspect of this law, as it will allow AI video surveillance to be used to detect abnormal behaviour. Human rights organisations and the French left have condemned the measure.  

The all-encompassing law that France's National Assembly is due to adopt on March 28, ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, will allow shops to open on Sundays, establish a health centre in the department of Seine-Saint-Denis (located northeast of Paris) and permit the French state to investigate future accredited persons. However, Article 7 of this law is particularly controversial, as it states that AI video surveillance may be used, on a trial basis, to ensure the safety of the Olympic Games. Human rights groups say the use of this technology will set a dangerous precedent.  

During the preliminary phase, Article 7 was adopted by the presidential majority, France's right-wing party Les Républicains and the far-right National Rally. The New Ecological and Social People's Union (NUPES), a coalition of left-wing parties, opposed it. It will allow algorithm-driven video surveillance technology to be used to ensure the safety of large-scale "sporting, recreational or cultural events" on a trial basis.  

'An all-out assault on rights to privacy'

"Algorithmic video surveillance is a new form of technology that uses computer software to analyse images captured by surveillance cameras in real time," explains Arnaud Touati, a lawyer specialised in digital law. "The algorithms used in the software are notably based on machine learning technology, which allows AI video surveillance, over time, to continue to improve and adapt to new situations."