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A vast biometric video surveillance system in Marseille attacked in court

Detect crowd movements, behaviors deemed abnormal or automatically find a reported person … Two associations for the defense of fundamental rights attack the city of Marseille before the administrative court to suspend the establishment of a vast system of video surveillance qualified as ’” clever “, whom they accuse of violating individual freedoms.

In their application for interim measures, the League for Human Rights (LDH) and La Quadrature du Net ask the municipality to suspend the installation of this video surveillance system which is said to have been “Implemented in the very last weeks of 2019”. They believe that Marseille has not complied with its legal obligations, since this system could ultimately allow automatic monitoring “The entire population traveling on the public highway”, with a collection and analysis of biometric data, according to the request.

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“Intrusive technology”

The municipality has embarked on a vast project for several years “Big data of public tranquility”, who has to cross multiple data streams to try to “Prevent certain events before they happen”. “This system adds a layer of automation to video surveillance” to identify and trace individuals in real time, worried Félix Tréguer, member of La Quadrature du Net. “This intrusive technology is not legitimate in a democracy worthy of the name”, he added, denouncing the opacity of several cities around the implementation of such systems.

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It’s the weekly Télérama which had published an investigation at the beginning of December revealing the installation of the system in Marseilles, without there was no official communiqué on this subject. Questioned by Agence France-Presse (AFP), the municipality said that the attacked video surveillance device was for the moment “In the testing phase”.

According to a municipal document obtained by the association, the mayor of Marseille wants its video system to identify independently (…) anomalies, incidents, remarkable facts such as a garbage dump, tag, crowd, or gunfire, crowd clamor or raiding.

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