Region/Countries: Europe, France Industry: Other Date: April 2020

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: With the government increasingly using this technology for secure access to public services, Wisconsin companies can help build out the technology.

In an announcement to the press in December 2019, Cédric O, France’s secretary of state for digital and internet technology, explained his wish to go ahead with an experiment on the use of facial recognition in real time on certain government public services sites. The government will be experimenting with the use of video surveillance with facial recognition for a six-month test period.

In light of the European regulation on the protection of personal information and the French regulator the CNIL, both of which only allow such usage with the consent of the individual, the new Law Decree N° 2019-452 passed in May 2019 governing use on Android mobile phones will ensure that the individual’s identity will be protected and databases erased after identification is made.

French companies IDEMIA and THALES have been chosen to supply the technology, with the Android application for smartphones named ALICEM. Although no final date has been set for general usage, Cédric O expects that the system will be totally adopted by mid-2021. The idea is to ensure that the maximum level of security is obtained when accessing government services, in line with identity certification laid down by the Agency for National Security Systems of Information.

Some French educational establishments have adopted the facial recognition technology from CISCO secure entry systems in order to thwart intruders and maintain a higher level of access security as a complement to personnel-based security.

The major Parisian airport operator ADP (Aéroport de Paris) started introducing facial recognition passport and check-in boarding controls in June 2018 into the Charles de Gaulles Roissy airport, as well as Orly, with a goal to equip a total of 95 entry points using the company GEMALTO, a specialist in numerical security.

These initiatives correspond with the call from the French president to further develop artificial intelligence in line with the government initiative Project FRANCE IA. In light of a report provided by the deputy to the political party LaREM and mathematician Cédric Villani, there was a call to engage private companies, both French and foreign, to invest in initiatives to promote artificial intelligence in France.

Among the 50 recommendations was a focus on four key sectors: defense, transportation, environment and health. “Artificial intelligence is an economic and technological revolution,” explained President Macron, “and it is already arriving.”

France will have a legislative framework that allows the usage of autonomous cars by 2022. It also envisions the creation of a health data center that integrates with artificial intelligence programs of hospitals and local and national government health agencies.

The €1.5 billion budget includes €100 million to help artificial intelligence startups, €70 million to be invested in a public bank to develop companies involved in “deep technologies,” and €400 million earmarked for tenders for various projects.