The mayor of Nice, Christian Astrosi, wants to revive the controversy surrounding facial recognition in France, even as the question divides member states in Brussels within the framework of future rules on artificial intelligence.
Just days after the sideline of the Champions League final, which could turn into a diplomatic affair between Paris and London, the question of the use of facial recognition in public space is being raised again.
” I want us to finally stop CNIL banning us [Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés]This type of dusty organization that prohibits the use of facial recognition “The mayor of Nice in Europe 1, Christian Astrosi, said on Tuesday (May 31).
I wish we could use facial recognition. If the police could not arrest 1,000 or 2,000 people without risk, if they had been banned from the stadium and identified, we could have arrested them later for this device. # Europe1 pic.twitter.com/Ix5hTxw3vi
– Christian Astrosi (Sestrosi) May 31, 2022
The use of this technology in public spaces, i.e. the processing of biometric data, is prohibited in practice, in principle, CNIL itself relies on the European framework, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
If French and European law provides for some contempt, especially for ” Reasons for important public interest 6, the identification of supporters at the entrance of a stadium is not one of them.
CNIL, in February 2021, sent a warning to the FC Metz Club as part of the fight against terrorism and tested with a facial recognition device to filter out prohibited persons from the stadium, reminding that it had no grounding. Its device is considered sensitive to human biometric data.
” It is difficult for the police force to arrest 1,000 or 2,000 people, at the risk of injuring or even killing 1,000 or 2,000 people. But on the other hand, if they are identified by facial recognition, if they are banned from the stadium and if we can keep them in custody from their homes in the morning, then artificial intelligence will play its role perfectly. “, Mr. Estrosi explained, arguing that a” Large numbers Organizers of sports events and club presidents will be in favor.
Such a device had already been set up in Cardiff in the context of the Champions League final between Juventus and Real Madrid in 2017. Local law enforcement later reported that only 173 of the 2,470 warnings issued by the Facial Recognition Program proved to be justified – a false positive rate of 92%.
“ We have big developers including software, start-ups, French like Thales, who today have very advanced systems to guarantee individual freedom. “Still, Mr. Estrosi guessed, regretted that.” Joe Biden or Xi Jinping can monitor you through your cell phone, but French companies have not been asked to be able to do so and guarantee your safety. And calling ” A real debate “
A European debate
This “real debate” could well take place in Brussels and Strasbourg, while the Council and the European Parliament are currently examining the European Commission’s proposal to regulate artificial intelligence, and in particular to adjust the rules of recognition and to close legal loopholes at EU level. .
Its paragraph 5 is prohibited Use of “real-time” remote biometric detection systems in publicly accessible places for law enforcement purposes “, With some exceptions.
The provision echoes the report adopted by MEPs last October, with the majority supporting the ban. On the other hand, the EPP lawmakers then submitted a number of amendments to the resolution, proposing an exchange of a moratorium on placing verbal recognition in public spaces against the promise. “To ensure respect for fundamental rights“
“We should not throw our baby out with bath waterChristian Democrat Tom Vandenkendler then made the announcement in front of a packed gathering of colleagues.
The issue of facial recognition devices is not unanimous among legislators, some of whom see the technology as a great opportunity to prevent and combat crime and crime.
The sanctions, and the accompanying insults, could also be a point of contention between member states, which are currently in the process of agreeing on a text under the French presidency.