Olympic Games 2024: smart cameras, security, gene doping… what should we remember from the Olympic law?

Automated video surveillance, tougher penalties for intrusion into a stadium or even the fight against genetic doping… Olympic law landed in the hemicycle last Monday, barely a few days after the tumultuous pension reform. And this text – already adopted at first reading by the Senate at the end of January – has also given rise to lively debates, in particular between the majority and the left, which points to “security excesses”. It was finally voted on Tuesday afternoon by 400 votes against 93.

Around twenty articles define measures – permanent or experimental – to oversee the organization of the Paris 2024 Olympics. the installation of body scans at the entrance to competition sites, the extension of administrative inquiries to athletes, certain media or sponsors, etc.

Facial recognition ruled out by MPs

“It was a question of finding a balance between the defense of public freedoms and the requirements of maintaining order and security for the Olympic Games”, sums up Guillaume Vuilletet, Renaissance deputy for Val-d’Oise and rapporteur for this law. At the heart of this arsenal, article 7 – which aims to authorize experimentation with so-called algorithmic or automated video surveillance until December 31, 2024 – has undoubtedly been the most commented on.

Facial recognition has been ruled out by the government. The device that will be deployed consists of using algorithms to analyze video surveillance images and identify certain types of events: abandoned parcels, bottlenecks, “unusual” presences… The list of all the “use scenarios” that these algorithms will be responsible for detecting will be defined in the coming days in an implementing decree. For Guillaume Vuilletet, “it’s just a question of accompanying the women and men who are behind the screens to inform them of a possible dangerous situation”.

Not enough to convince organizations like Amnesty International or the League for Human Rights, which denounce a “real mass surveillance device”. And who find it hard to believe in a rollback once these algorithms have been deployed. A position shared by a large part of the left which also considers that these technologies are “liberticidal” and “ineffective”.

Genetic testing on athletes will continue after the event

Section 4 was also challenged. It authorizes the use of genetic tests on athletes. These make it possible to detect gene doping, which is invisible under the radar of biological tests. Athletes will be notified in advance when their samples are likely to be subjected to these new analyses. But no consent will be requested. And this procedure – anonymized – will continue after the Games.

But according to some left-wing MPs, these tests raise ethical questions. “It is an obligation for the Games, we must comply and this in a sustainable way”, retorted the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra.

The Sunday opening of shops in the host towns and neighboring towns, the increase in the supply of taxis accessible to people in wheelchairs and the establishment of a health center within the Olympic and Paralympic village make also part of the measures adopted.

Debates that left a bitter taste in Élisa Martin. “Whatever our arguments were, nothing happened, plagues the Insoumise MP and enforcement rapporteur. Of the 700 amendments tabled, only around fifty were accepted and 16 came from the majority. “With the Insoumis and the Ecologists, she already plans to seize the Constitutional Council and “to continue the fight”.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *