this surveillance AI will recognize you in a crowd

Facial recognition technology developed by the government for the 2024 Olympics can identify any individual in a flash. The use of this technology has been rejected by the Senate for the time being, but the debate remains open…

Have you ever had the feeling that someone is watching you even though you’re in the middle of a crowd of spectators? At the Paris 2024 Olympics, it may not be just a feeling.

At the end of January 2023, France Television tested the facial recognition technology that will be deployed at the Olympics. The results were impressive, but also very worrying for people concerned about their privacy.

A journalist accompanied by a specialist took a photo of a young woman sitting on the terrace of a café. In only 20 seconds, the AI had identified her. Engineer Anis Ayan revealed that she was from Lyon and had registered on a childcare website.

The person photographed confirmed that all this information about him/her was correct. She then admitted she was a little scared, especially as she was a tourist and published very few photos on the web.

This facial recognition system should make it possible to identify any spectator during the Olympic Games. Should anonymity be sacrificed for security? The debate rages on.

CNIL opposes the use of facial recognition

On January 24, 2023, CNIL president Marie-Laure Denis sounded the alarm. against the use of facial recognition during the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Data protection authority calls on parliamentarians not to use facial recognition and identification of individuals in public spaces.

However, senators are divided on the subject. Some want to use AI, facial recognition, drones and all available technologies to strengthen the security arsenal to the maximum. Others want to add privacy measures first.

If these technologies are adopted, the CNIL assures us that it will monitor algorithm training to check that images are deleted. The aim of this supervision will also be to prevent discriminatory biases.

How to protect yourself against facial recognition?

To identify individuals, facial recognition technology relies mainly on images published on the web and social networks.

Therefore, if you wish to remain anonymous in a crowd, it is best to avoid broadcasting your face on the Internet. The European Union allows citizens to demand the removal of their photos from websites, but this is not always easy.

For example, if a site is based in a tax havenit will be very difficult to request the removal of your images. It is therefore necessary to contact the search engines by sending a request for the right to be forgotten. The search results will then be deleted.

As an alternative, you can also buy these clothes designed by an Italian company. Sure, you’ll look awful during the Olympics, but the AI cameras won’t be able to recognize you !

What do you think about the use of facial recognition? Is it a necessity to ensure security during the event, or is privacy a priority?