French startup & Paris metro use AI to track pandemic
French startup DatakaLab, a startup founded in 2017 created software to analyze riders’ faces. The software is going to be incorporated into the CCTVs which scan the Paris metro for any untoward incidents. This is being done under the Paris metro’s authority as part of the city’s efforts to end the lockdown but to prevent and contain the spread of COVID 19 in the very crowded Paris Metro. The PMA began a 3 month test at the heart of Paris in a metro station used by 33 million people annually. This however has raised concerns from the government’s privacy watchdog.
DatakaLab claims the software is not intended to levy fines or punish people for anti-social behaviour or not wearing masks outdoors but instead to generate anonymous statistical data that will help the authorities anticipate future outbreaks of COVID 19 until a vaccine is created, the French government made it mandatory for everyone to wear masks if they are using public transport. The spread of AI facial tracking software in China has raised concerns for many privacy advocates, as they feel this is a danger to individual privacy. DatakaLab claims that their software is compliant with GDPR regulations and their software can be integrated into many small CCTV’s by adding a small CPU into the cameras. This does set a dangerous precedent for many governments regarding individual privacy but the question arises, is it necessary to tackle COVID 19?
Source: AI Daily