Facial recognition in football stadiums: between privacy and security (III) –

That is the third submit on this sequence on using facial recognition in soccer stadiums. Within the first, which may be learn HERE, the extra common questions on facial recognition have been analyzed. Within the second, obtainable HERE, the significance of the Knowledge Safety Affect Evaluation (DPIA) was addressed, after which the Danish case was analyzed. We now proceed to current the French regulation on the matter.

9) Metz (France)

Not too long ago, a video evaluation software outfitted with synthetic intelligence and machine studying sparked an awesome controversy in France. With out being particularly named, FC Metz acquired a warning from the CNIL (Nationwide Fee for Computing and Liberties). In its assertion, the CNIL explains how the observe applied by the French membership contravenes present laws, stating that the facial recognition system to robotically establish followers on the soccer stadium doesn’t adjust to knowledge safety laws.

As reported by the membership FC Metz on Twitter “to implement the stadium bans, a face-matching answer has been examined[1] (“facial comparability »). Due to this fact, it solely applies to those that can’t entry the stadium ”.

The controversy turned even thornier when the French sports activities minister commented on January 31, 2021 that “These experiments [de reconocimiento facial] they wish to promote themselves in main sporting occasions organized by France and in different sporting occasions the place France can export its data. “

What’s the regulatory framework in France?

Along with the GDPR and French knowledge safety legal guidelines, the French sports activities code applies.

Article L. 332-1 of the Sport Code establishes that organizers of sporting occasions can reject or cancel the issuance of tickets for such occasions or deny entry to those that have infringed the provisions of the overall circumstances of sale or inside rules referring to the safety of such occasions.

The identical article authorizes sporting occasion organizers to use “automated processing of non-public knowledge associated to offenses” to ensure the safety of sporting occasions. This remedy should be supplied for within the common circumstances of sale or within the inside rules.

These bans on entry to soccer stadiums, that are supposed to contribute to the safety of sporting occasions by stopping entry to sure individuals and that are determined by the organizers of sporting occasions, should be distinguished from judicial or administrative bans on entry to stadiums, which might solely be imposed by judicial authorities.

In observe, registering an individual in a banning course of at a soccer stadium will permit the stadium’s ticketing system to robotically refuse to subject a ticket on their behalf. As well as, the safety guards can deny entry to the sports activities facility to an individual registered on this remedy, even when they’ve a legitimate ticket.

Particularly, the circumstances of utility of those therapies are specified within the provisions of articles L. 332-1 and R. 332-14 and following of the Sport Code, particularly with regard to:

  • The aim of mentioned remedy;
  • The classes of knowledge that may be processed
  • The period of this knowledge
  • The classes of recipients of this knowledge;
  • In addition to the principles relevant to the data of people (by means of the publication or supply of a selected doc).

On this regard, though article R. 332-15 of the French Sport Code supplies that the related {photograph} of an individual could also be processed for the administration of entry bans to soccer stadiums, it doesn’t expressly permit the implementation of a biometric machine primarily based, particularly, on these images.

Let’s examine what article R332-15 cited above says:

“Within the remedy supplied for in article R. 332-14, solely the next private knowledge and knowledge could also be registered:
1 ° Identification knowledge: surnames; Title; date and homeland; tackle or place of residence; Electronic mail tackle; telephone quantity; subscription card quantity and related {photograph}, if relevant;
2 ° The explanations for registration that represent a violation of the provisions of the overall circumstances or of the interior rules referring to the protection of sporting occasions, particularly these arising from the next information:

a) An act that will provoke hatred or violence on or close to sports activities fields;

b) An act that might endanger the protection of individuals and property within the sports activities venue or within the neighborhood of the sports activities occasion;

c) Coming into the sports activities enviornment in a drunken state or below the obvious affect of medication; introduce and devour alcoholic drinks and / or medicine on the sports activities grounds;

d) Introducing into the sports activities enviornment any object that will represent a weapon or endanger the protection of individuals or property;

3 ° Selections taken:

a) Nature of the measure: suspension, cancellation or impossibility of subscribing a brand new subscription; refusal to promote a ticket; cancellation of mentioned entry; denial of entry to a sports activities venue;

b) Date of the choice;

(c) Length of the measure ”.

These knowledge are recorded by the individuals in command of safety below the authority of the organizer of for-profit sporting occasions.

Lastly, article R. 332-18 of the Sport Code explicitly signifies that the events can’t oppose the processing of the info in these circumstances.

Specifically: Article R332-18 “The particular person answerable for the remedy will inform the events by mail, by sending or delivering a doc, or by another equal means, indicating the id of the particular person answerable for the remedy, the aim of the identical, the duty of the responses, the potential penalties of the dearth of response, the recipients of the info, the conservation interval and the procedures for the train of the rights of the events

The appropriate of opposition supplied for in article 38 of the Regulation of January 6, 1978 doesn’t apply to the therapies contemplated in article R. 332-14.

The rights of entry and rectification supplied for in articles 39 and 40 of the Regulation of January 6, 1978 are exercised immediately earlier than the particular person answerable for the remedy. “

Due to this fact, based on the CNIL, “within the absence of a particular legislative or regulatory provision, the implementation of such a scheme by a sports activities membership for anti-terrorism functions is against the law“, as the gathering and use of such biometric knowledge is prohibited, with exceptions, by the Basic Knowledge Safety Regulation (RGPD) and the Knowledge Safety Regulation (Knowledge Safety Act). In different phrases, “as regards the authorized framework, the supposed remedy can’t be legally utilized”.

On this sense, the CNIL has warned the membership that if it decides to implement its facial recognition system, “it will likely be uncovered to a number of of the corrective measures supplied for within the Knowledge Safety Laws and within the Knowledge Safety and Civil Liberties Regulation , together with a monetary penalty ”.


[1] (…), Solely with the intention to implement the business stadium bans, a facial comparability answer was examined. It subsequently solely considerations individuals prohibited from getting into the stadium. (21) FC Metz ☨ on Twitter: “@streetpress @oliviertesquet @A_N_Supporters Within the framework of the Larrivé law, only in order to enforce the commercial stadium bans, a facial comparison solution was tested. It therefore exclusively concerns people prohibited from entering the stadium. ” / Twitter


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