Suresnes 'abnormal situation' surveillance plan criticised as invasive

Released: April 2021

The announcement that a Paris commune would start using facial analysis and other tools to spot abnormal events was criticised for being potentially overly intrusive.

In March 2021, Guillaume Boudy, mayor of Suresnes, a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, announced it would start using 10 AI-equipped CCTV cameras to strengthen security and safety of its inhabitants and the cleanliness of its environment by spotting 'abnormal events' ('événements anormaux').

The eighteen-month test would be operated by XXII Group, a local video analysis platform provider which had been given the right to use the cameras to train its facial analysis and other relevant algorithms.

The decision was criticised by civil rights and privacy organisations such as Le Quadrature du Net and TechnoPolice as opaque and potentially intrusive, and that it constituted an inappropriate and unethical commercialisation of public space and personal privacy.

Concerns were also raised about the efficacy of the system, and how false positives would be handled.

Operator: Ville de Suresnes
Developer: XXII Group

Country: France

Sector: Govt - municipal; Govt - police

Purpose: Strengthen law enforcement

Technology: Facial analysis
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Dual/multi-use; Privacy; Surveillance

Transparency: Governance; Privacy

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Type: Issue
Published: February 2023