France could use facial recognition and artificial intelligence to fight terrorism in public transport. On Europe 1, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said to himself “quite favorable»To this proposal from the president of the Ile-de-France region, Valérie Pécresse. The Minister of Transport recalled that such an experiment had been carried out at the time of deconfinement.

May’s beginning, “we were able to detect the number of people who wore the mask», He explains. “This is how we found out that 95% of transport users wore the mask.», Adds the Minister. Indeed, between May 11 and June 12, RATP and Île-de-France Mobilités experimented with a French technology for detecting the wearing of masks in the Châtelet-Les Halles station. The objective was to “measure the proportion of travelers respecting the obligation to wear a mask in public transport», Indicates the RATP. “Developed by Datakalab, a 100% French Artificial Intelligence startup, the technology makes it possible to obtain in real time the exact number and percentage of people, masked or not in the areas concerned», Explains the Paris region public transport operator. “There was no will to verbalize“, He assures.

In detail, 6 cameras from the Châtelet-Les Halles station had been fitted with a mask detector. This figure was to rise to 12 cameras and the experiment was initially to last 3 months.

A right of opposition»Must be guaranteed

But on June 12 “RAPT has decided to temporarily suspend the experiment in order to complete the right of opposition system as requested by the CNIL», Specifies the group. The National Commission for Information Technology and Freedom was indeed worried about the development of these cameras “intelligent“, Which is not framed today”by no particular text“, According to a published report June 17.

According to the personal data gendarme, the “uncontrolled development“Of this technology”presents the risk of generalizing a feeling of surveillance among citizens, of creating a phenomenon of habituation and trivialization of intrusive technologies, and of generating increased surveillance, liable to undermine the proper functioning of our democratic society“. The Cnil thus insists on “the need to provide an adequate textual framework, which is required when sensitive data is processed or when the right of objection cannot be applied in practice in the public space“.

Thus, the use of facial recognition and artificial intelligence to fight terrorism in transport could face the same limits. This time the project aims to identify “behaviors, not people», Defends Jean-Baptiste Djebbari. “The idea of ​​using artificial intelligence is to detect suspicious behavior, and it is implemented in a lot of countries», Continues the Minister. The Cnil will have to decide.

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