France’s sports ministry rules out facial recognition in 2024 Olympics and Paralympics: report

In place of facial recognition, artificial intelligence will be used to facilitate security during the competition

Updated - November 28, 2022 04:04 pm IST

Published - November 28, 2022 01:41 pm IST

A file photo of the Olympic rings set up at Trocadero plaza that overlooks the Eiffel Tower.

A file photo of the Olympic rings set up at Trocadero plaza that overlooks the Eiffel Tower. | Photo Credit: AP

Facial recognition will not be used as a security measure during the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics, France’s sports ministry said. 

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Minister of Sport Amélie Oudéa-Castéra said that a bill dictating the game’s organisational plan explicitly excludes facial recognition technology from the event, a report by Biometric Update noted. 

The bill will formalise the pledge taken by public officials to ensure that biometric facial scans will not be a part of the events scheduled for 2024, it added.

Instead of biometrics, France will add video protection devices using intelligent anonymised algorithms to manage crowd. It plans to include augmented cameras that are capable of detecting objects abandoned by owners on public highways, Oudéa-Castéra said.

Artificial intelligence will also be used to facilitate security during the competition, she added. 

France is adding around 400 additional video surveillance cameras in Paris as part of preparations for the Games that will be organised from July to August, 2024. 

Politicians in the country have called for increased use of facial recognition at major sporting events in view of the events at Stade de France where fans stormed the gates with fake tickets in May 2022. At that time police had to deploy tear gas against fans.  

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