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Ready facial recognition market among French soccer clubs restrained by regulator

Ready facial recognition market among French soccer clubs restrained by regulator

Soccer clubs in France are tempted by the possibility of keeping violent spectators out of the stands without hindering their fans through facial recognition, but are being held at bay by fear of the regulatory consequences, according to a Teller Report translation from Agence France-Presse.

The head of a private security company tells AFP that clubs are interested in deploying facial recognition to head off a rise in violent incidents involving attendees, but “it is clearly a taboo subject.”

Real-time facial recognition video deployments are not allowed in public spaces in France, but clubs are looking for ways to enforce commercial stadium (ICS) bans, as well as administrative or judicial bans (IDS).

FC Metz of France’s top division trialed facial recognition during a match in 2020, and was chastised by the country’s data protection regulator, CNIL.

The article quotes an official with Montpellier HSC, who suggests the quality facial recognition systems available are not worth their high price.

France’s government wrote to the country’s Professional Football League (LFP) recently, promising a strong response to disorder in the stands, but without specifying the form it would take.

The country also recently ruled out the use of live facial recognition at the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Soccer clubs in other countries, meanwhile, continue to consider, and in some cases roll out facial recognition for stadium security.

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