These security technologies that will enter our lives

Article repost dated September 13, 2021

This is a report that should make a splash. Deputy Jean-Michel Mies, who was entrusted by the Government with the mission of responsible and socially acceptable use of security technologies “, presented his report to Jean Castex last week. Less than three years before the Paris Olympics, France is looking to expand its defense arsenal to limit threats, especially during major events. And this arsenal is also technological. In his report, the Loire member mentions a few devices he recommends testing before possibly deploying them on a large scale.

Automatic anomaly detection

The heart of the reactor is data. And this is good, it is available in large quantities, in different forms. ” Open communication flows between people can provide information about the dangerous situation they are in. “Technology is still needed to collect this available data and then analyze it very quickly in real time,” the report says. Automated processing assists law enforcement in decision making by providing warning signals about certain events, sometimes going as far as characterizing them. “, the report further elaborates.

At the same time, he is aware that such an appeal can be perceived as “ intrusive in the private lives of stakeholders, the report’s author outlines a structure to avoid this trap, while ensuring the effectiveness of the approach: the question is not about knowing individual situations, but about knowing whether a set of publicly available messages reveals a situation of localized risk. It is rather a matter of using the extraction of raw or situational data that is anonymous to facilitate the application of certain rules regarding the protection of personal data. “.

This is one of the problems with this technology. ” It would be possible to allow the use of computer vision algorithms on images collected for video protection purposes, provided that these algorithms anonymize the images in real time and do not store any data that would directly or indirectly identify a person. “, – the report says. This would allow, in particular, to detect unusual behavior in the crowd, in ” street, transport networks, large public institutions (sports, culture) “.

Body scanners

If the security gates are already well known to the French, the body scanners used in other countries may well proliferate, especially during large gatherings. ” They can have advantages in terms of reliability, as they allow the identification of hidden objects that may have eluded other controls. In addition, they are considered less intrusive than palpation, since modern techniques allow not to restore an accurate image of human morphology, but to transmit schematic data for the localization of foreign elements. “, the report boasts. Which imposes two limitations: cost and time savings, which must be determined when caring for a large number of people.

Thus, the author of the report believes that ” main events of 2023 and 2024 (The Rugby World Cup in 2023 and the Olympic Games in 2024) will be an excellent opportunity to test technology on a large scale, which has already been unsuccessfully tested at airports. ” The logic of the flow can indeed differ depending on the context, with stadiums facing concentrated and massive entry for a short period of time, while other venues experience a smoother flow. “, is claimed in the report, which indicates that the use of body scanners may be ” immortalized if the experiment was final.

Biometric identification by face recognition

This is a delicate matter, because the French are sensitive in this matter. ” If acceptance [de la reconnaissance faciale, NDLR] appears highly cultured and generational, young people do not accept it indiscriminately: they prefer it for everyday use, but may be wary of it when used for surveillance purposes. “, – noted in the report. However, he points out that ” major sporting events 2023-2024 pose significant challenges in this area. About 400,000 accreditations will be issued for the Olympic and Paralympic Games alone, including 65,000 for the Olympic Family and 19,000 for the Paralympic Family. “.

While the report currently rules out the use of facial recognition in crowds to detect wanted persons in real time, it lays out the principle of experimentation, with the consent of those concerned, for access to high-value sites such as the Olympic Village. This ” should be able to measure the balance between benefits and risks according to the use cases of these technologies, assess the efforts that need to be made in terms of technical and human control, and create the necessary monitoring and evaluation system. ”, so technologies in this area and the legislative framework associated with them can be improved even today.