Amnesty International opposes AI cameras use at Paris 2024
Yeray Vergara
May 31, 2024

Amnesty International has organized a symbolic funeral in protest against the French parliament’s approval of AI-enhanced surveillance cameras for the Olympic Games. The protest took place this week at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, warning of the dangers of using this technology during Paris 2024.

The French government argues that this technology is necessary for managing the millions of people who will be in Paris during the games and for detecting potential dangers. They also warn that the cameras will not process biometric data or use facial recognition. Critics of this system and Amnesty International argue that it paves the way for widespread facial recognition and threatens basic freedoms.

During the symbolic funeral, Amnesty International members carried a coffin with a banner on top that read “We do not bury privacy. No to facial recognition.” They also mention that facial recognition has already been tested in France, specifically in Nice during the 2019 carnival.

Mher Hakobyan, Amnesty International’s AI advisor, stated, “Politicians have hailed the AI Act as a global model for AI regulation, but the legislation does not include basic human rights principles.” He also commented that “it is disappointing that the EU has prioritized industry and law enforcement interests over the protection of people and their human rights.”

On the other hand, Eliza Aspen, a researcher at Amnesty International, stated that “the protection of human rights should not be sacrificed for private gain” and added that “states do not have obligations to private companies. What they do have is the obligation to ensure that both state and non-state actors respect the human rights of people on the move.”

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