— Published 21 March 2023

Video surveillance in debate at the National Assembly

Less than 500 days before the opening of the Paris 2024 Games (D – 493 this Tuesday, March 21), the Olympic and Paralympic event is invited to the National Assembly. The French deputies began in the evening, Monday, March 20, the examination of the project of the new Olympic law. The debates should last all the week and conclude, except reversal of situation, by a vote on Tuesday, March 28. As a reminder, the text has already been adopted in the Senate, with a comfortable majority and in first reading. In the heart of the discussions, and at the origin of the divisions between the various political camps, the article 7 of the bill, relative to the security of the Games of Paris 2024. It plans indeed to authorize the coupling of the video surveillance to an algorithmic treatment of the images. The process would allow, in case of adoption of the bill, to analyze crowd movements or suspicious acts, such as the abandonment of a luggage. For the deputies of the opposition, this article 7 must be removed from the text. A “law liberticide and security“, believes Elisa Martin member of the LFI group. “It is normal to put in place exceptional measures for an exceptional event, but there we go beyond a text to secure the Olympics, “argues the socialist Roger Vicot. Present Monday at the opening of the debates, the Minister of Sports and Olympic and Paralympic Games, Amélié Oudéa-Castéra, defended an “experiment very precisely limited in time. (…) There is no substitution of the algorithm to the human judgment which remains sovereign, nor any technique of facial recognition“. The experimentation could start with the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, in September and October, and last until December 31, 2024. The Olympic bill also provides for the possibility of subjecting accredited persons to an administrative investigation on the competition sites and in the fan zones, the strengthening of sanctions in case of intrusion into a compound, genetic testing to comply with global standards of anti-doping, the creation of a large health center in the Olympic village, or exemptions to the rules of Sunday work.