Three years ago, La Quadrature du Net started an initiative called « Technopolice » to gather information relating to all technologies deployed by the police in our cities. Today, we have come to a point where the combination of these technologies creates a state of total surveillance in our streets:CCTV everywhere, enormous police databases, facial recognition and automated detection of behavior.
In order to end stop this illegal mass surveillance, we are launching a collective complaint against the French Ministry of the Interior. You will find the details of our argument and procedure on plainte.technopolice.fr (in French).
This is the same type of action as we did 4 years ago before the CNIL against the GAFAM. These collective complaints brought together 12 000 people and got us some great victories, such as a record fine of 746 million euros against Amazon (the other complaints are still being processed).
Today, we are suing he French State to demand that they put a stop to the following mass surveillance practices:
– the surveillance cameras that have been installed for more than 20 years in cities all over the country and which have been proven, since then, to be completely ineffective (and thus illegal);
– the AI software added to these cameras in order to detect “unwanted” behavior (such as begging, hanging around, gathering in groups, tagging…) to transform cities into anti-social spaces and exclude the most vulnerable people or also political activists;
– the police databases storing face photos: the TAJ (« traitement des antécédents judiciaires » meaning « criminal records processing» ) contains 8 million photos of prosecuted persons (even if found not guilty) and the TES (“titres électroniques sécurisés” meaning “secure electronic documents”) containing face photos of every citizen requesting an ID card or a passport;
– the use of facial recognition by the police (in 2021, that occurred more than 1600 times a day) as well as intelligence services, which is basically signifying the end of being anonymous in public spaces.
Our action is not only meant as a legal one: our goal is also to assert our position in a political situation wherein these technologies are imposed with an utter lack of transparency. Let’s combine our forces all together to reclaim our place in the public debate and state loud and clear that the Technopolice is illegal and must remain so.