Security, accessibility, sponsors: what does the 2024 Olympics bill contain?

Artificial intelligence to face a security challenge

First concern of the public authorities, security occupies an important part of the bill. The opening ceremony, scheduled for July 26, 2024, will take place outdoors on the Seine and 600,000 spectators will be able to attend, this is what Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin told the senators. This challenge, of an unprecedented scale, will mobilize 45,000 police officers and gendarmes, who will also be able to use, on an experimental basis, drones and cameras equipped with artificial intelligence algorithms. The entire competition will also be under surveillance. The text, debated from January 23 in the Senate in first reading, indeed makes possible the use of “augmented” cameras. This device makes it possible to detect crowd movements in and around stadiums, on public roads or even in transport. A first for France, for the purpose of maintaining public order. The fiasco of the organization of the Champions League at the Stade de France last June is also on everyone’s mind.

An experimental deployment and a “turning point”

In an opinion dating from the beginning of December but made public on January 4, the CNIL (Commission Nationale Informatique et Libertés) describes as a “turning point” the “deployment, even experimental, of these devices”. It also indicates that the text goes “in the direction of the recommendations” formulated by the CNIL from July 2022: experimental deployment, limitation in space and time, absence of processing of biometric data or even reconciliation with other files… It also specifies that the opinions of the CNIL and the Council of State led the government to modify its text. In its explanatory memorandum, the bill specifies that the planned devices “do not implement any facial recognition technique”. These experiments will be authorized by decree after consulting the CNIL and may begin as soon as the law comes into force until June 30, 2025, so well beyond the Olympics.

Another novelty: body scanners, already used today in airports, can be used at the entrance to stadiums and other sports venues hosting more than 300 people. Objective: to streamline controls and avoid bottlenecks. A control device by palpation is also preserved.

Reinforcement of sanctions in the event of violence in stadiums

To prevent and further punish violence during sporting events, the bill finally toughens the applicable individual penalties (in particular in the event of recidivism and violence in meetings) and makes more systematic the judicial bans from stadiums in the event of certain offences. Another measure in terms of security, the possibility of administrative inquiries for the members of the delegations present in the Olympic village, the volunteers as well as the service providers.

Athlete care and anti-doping devices

Less concerning for the French but essential for athletes, the bill also provides for the authorization of new analytical techniques to fight against doping, such as the examination of genetic characteristics or the comparison of genetic fingerprints of athletes. In terms of care, a health center will be set up in the Olympic and Paralympic village. Foreign doctors will be able to treat the athletes there.

Opening of stores on Sundays, accessibility, sponsors…

Beyond these security measures, the bill includes many disparate measures related to the organization of the Olympic Games. It provides that, in the municipalities that host the competitions, shops will be able to open on Sundays, from June 1, 2024 to September 30, 2024. The subject is sensitive: these openings can only be done on the basis of the voluntary work of employees and with double pay.

The police project will also be able to issue parking permits for wheelchair-accessible taxis. A makeshift while the Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, recognized in October the delay taken by public transport and stations in terms of accessibility.

Finally, the text adapts provisions of the first law of 2018 on sponsor advertising. Certain rules governing advertising near historical monuments will be put on hold during the Olympic Games and in particular on the route of the Olympic flame. Find sponsors, a major subject for the organizers of the Paris Olympics who expect 1.1 billion euros. The bill for the Paris Games continues to climb: a budget overrun of 10% was validated in mid-December in the context of galloping inflation that France is experiencing. The big company of the Olympics is also experiencing the crisis.

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Security, accessibility, sponsors: what does the 2024 Olympics bill contain?

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