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New security technology for the 2024 Olympic Games showcased in Paris

Image shows the Olympic rings with the Eiffel Tower in the background. New security technology was displayed in Paris ahead of the 2024 Games.
Image shows the Olympic rings with the Eiffel Tower in the background. New security technology was displayed in Paris ahead of the 2024 Games. Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Euronews and Reuters
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Security technology companies showcased their offerings to help ensure the safe operation of the Paris Olympic Games next year.

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Companies and entrepreneurs gathered at the 2023 Milipol fair in Paris to showcase the cutting-edge security technology that could be used next year to ensure the 2024 Summer Olympics run smoothly.

Organisers for the Games are fine-tuning security arrangements for the events as the July 26 kick-off date approaches.

Around 16 million tourists are expected to descend on the French capital for the sporting event.

Chief among security concerns will be the opening ceremony where several hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected along the Seine River as hundreds of athletes take to the water.

It is the first time that this kind of event will be staged outdoors among the iconic sites and famous monuments of Paris.

According to GICAT, the group of French companies providing tech solutions for the event, over 700 digital technology solutions, both hardware and software, have been studied, and nearly eight billion cybersecurity test events have been organised.

These digital technology solutions will not include Russian or Chinese providers, however, having already been ruled out of contention. Instead, the organisation is giving preference to European and French companies.

The chosen businesses will be announced in December and will be awarded contracts worth several million euros to provide security around Olympic sites, while security at the venues will be provided by the Games' official sponsors.

One of the contenders is French company Evitech, which developed a "smart" surveillance software that can analyse video surveillance images and signal risky situations, such as the presence of abandoned objects or people carrying a weapon.

"Detecting a person with a red face, who looks like they're about to get angry, and having this or that personality type or build, that's what we call a bias and it's forbidden by law,” Pierre Bernas, the CEO of the company, said.

“What is authorised by law is [detecting] the number of people, a stampede, an abandoned object, people going in the wrong direction, a person falling in the crowd, smoke above the crowd... These are neutral situations that can actually happen and can reflect (events of) a certain severity," he added.

Another major potential security threat for the French Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of the Armed Forces is drones.

French police are already equipped with guns capable of jamming wifi or GPS signals between a drone and its remote control. Such guns can intercept drones at an altitude of around 1,000 metres.

Organisers are also insisting that they will not resort to facial recognition to ensure the safety of the Olympics, as the French parliament has rejected a provision of the Olympics law that could have authorised it.

For more on this story, watch the video in the media player above.

Video editor • Aisling Ní Chúláin

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