The Senate adopted, on Tuesday January 31, by a large majority the Olympic bill for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games (OG), very focused on security and contested by communists and environmentalists.
This text, voted by 245 votes for and 28 against, will in particular authorize the experimentation of so-called cameras “augmented” allowing algorithms to detect crowd movements. Examined in an accelerated procedure (one reading per chamber) it will be sent to the Assembly, the lower chamber of Parliament.
This law comes a few months after the fiasco of the Champions League final, at the end of May 2022, at the Stade de France. Spectators without tickets climbing the gates, ticket holders blocked at the entrance, families sprayed with tear gas by the police or even thefts and assaults: the final had turned into a nightmare.
It is “an essential milestone in our preparation for the Olympic Games”was satisfied after the vote the Minister of Sports and the Olympic Games, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra.
“In terms of showcase, we will have a France under glass”, on the contrary complained the ecologist Guy Benarroche, whose group voted against. Same wind of anger among the Communists who see in this project a security drift. “We are not sweeping away fundamental rights in this way, you are tarnishing the popularity of the Olympics”accused Eliane Assassi.
As for the Socialist Group, it abstained because the government “did not remove the doubts”, explained Jérôme Durain. Faced with these criticisms, the government assured that the experimentation with cameras, say “augmented”was surrounded “many guarantees”. He repeated that he ruled out facial recognition.
Detect suspicious movements
To secure the Paris Olympics, likely to attract 13 million spectators, and some 600,000 people for the opening ceremony along the banks of the Seine on July 26, 2024, using cameras to detect suspicious movements in the crowds is claimed by the authorities.
Both around the enclosures and in the adjacent transports, they will also be able to detect “abandoned objects”or allow “statistical analyses, of traffic flows for example”according to the impact study of the law.
Another security measure: body scanners, which could partially replace the lack of private security guards, especially women, that everyone anticipates. Gérald Darmanin, the Minister of the Interior, did not rule out an intervention by the army to lend a hand during the Olympics, while minimizing this possibility.
“If, at the end of the end of the end of the end, a certain number of people are missing, we will see what we can do. But we believe that a large country like France is capable of responding to this private security issue.”he assured the senators.
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Another delicate subject: genetic tests in order to comply with world anti-doping standards. This involves, for example, verifying that there is no genetic doping (gene therapy, messenger RNA, gene editing) but also transfusion or sample substitution.
The experimentation of these new tools will be able to start from the entry into force of the law, but also for demonstrations “recreational” and “cultural”. The text was retouched by the government after the opinion of the Council of State and that of the National Commission for Computing and Liberties. The latter had also considered as a “turning point” the use of artificial intelligence in surveillance cameras.
The association for the defense of freedoms La Quadrature du net pointed out that once the Olympic Games are over, these measures will be made permanent.
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