Will the low-emission zone be the last avatar of the surveillance society? ? Gates, cameras and radars will soon line cities to sort and park residents in the name of ecology ?
Forty-three French cities with more than 150,000 inhabitants will each have to create a low-emission zone by 2025 under the climate law. Therefore, it is planned to gradually ban the circulation of the most polluting vehicles and massively finance the renewal of the vehicle fleet for new electric or hybrid vehicles. The stated purpose of this device is to comply with the air quality standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) and reduce air pollution – responsible for 48,000 premature deaths according to Santé Publique France.
- In 2024, 3.7 million additional cars will be denied access to major cities. @ Emmanuel Klevenot / Reporter
From 2023, about 2.5 million cars, i.e. 6 % of the national park will no longer be able to roam the main cities of France. In 2024, 3.7 million additional cars will be denied access to major cities. In 2025, the ban will affect three quarters of the existing car fleet.
“ Nope EPZ effective without the ability to control »
The scale of the transition is huge, and government agencies are thinking about how to enforce these restrictions. The number of vehicles to be checked, the intensity of traffic and the variety of routes require general monitoring. In particular, according to the latest OpinionWay survey, 42 % of drivers surveyed say they are ready to oppose the ban.
Many civil society activists and environmental activists fear this EPZ accelerates the transformation towards a “ safe city » covered with radar towers, sensors and cameras that can track anyone’s gestures using artificial intelligence. “ Environmentalism is the new excuse for installing CCTV cameras and legitimizing repressive policies »thus ensuring the Squareness of the network.
“ Ecology is an excuse to install video surveillance »
Locally elected representatives EPZ in fact, they want new means of control from the state. “ It may not exist EPZ is effective without the ability to control vehicles that are authorized or not », announces Urban France, an association representing large cities and metropolises. A spokesperson for Urban France on the issue EPZJean-Luc Moudenc, Mayor of Toulouse, says: “ Without these checks, EPZ it will just be virtual and therefore ineffective. »
- industry” instrumentalizing ecology for policing purposes “. @ Emmanuel Klevenot / Reporter
During the first ministerial committee EPZOn October 25, the government pleaded for the introduction of automated systems without human intervention. “ Every effort should be made to ensure that these tools are prepared as soon as possible », insisted Transport Minister Clément Beaune. A flash fact-finding mission carried out by two deputies (Les Républicains and Renaissance) came to the same conclusion and condemned such a tool. “ basic things » for placement EPZ.
“ Increased collection of personal information »
These new technological devices will be able to read license plates and vignettes in real time through cameras and automatically identify criminals. An additional 200 video verbalization cameras will be installed in Paris. In Toulouse, the city hall and the state plan to install sixty high-tech radars. These devices will have the ability to signal out of compliance EPZspeeding, not wearing a seat belt, using a phone while driving, not keeping safe distances, etc.
Industrialists and the tech world see it as a promising market. Several companies or startups, such as Parifex, Wintics or Survision, which specialize in algorithmic monitoring, now have their own “ solution EPZ ».
- This Lapi camera “ offers an exceptional reading rate for paid operators and city surveillance “, we can read on the company’s website. A screenshot of the Survision website
“ control of EPZ offers us the opportunity to put our Lapi technology at the service of citizens’ welfare »Survision says. With an automatic license plate scanning system, this type of camera can check up to 10,000 cars a day, while a police officer on foot checks only a few hundred cars at best. Another technology under investigation is the Lidar system, which determines the trajectory of vehicles over hundreds of meters. “ an array of scanning lasers that model three-dimensional space ».
“ Producers gradually changed the way they spokeLa Quadrature du net lawyer Noémie Levain analyzes. To sell security devices and deepen surveillance, they are now boasting a clean city and instrumenting the environment for policing, along with increased personal data collection. »
“ Techno-idolatry »
From a legal point of view, these devices are allowed by law OMG, was ignored at that time by Article 86 adopted in 2019. plans to do “ facilitate detection of traffic violations » through “ automation » monitoring tools. The fine was also set at 68 euros, and the National Commission for Accountability and Freedoms (Cnil) demanded that these control methods be limited to 15 years. % of the average daily number of vehicles circulating within the zone.
It is not enough to reassure the defenders of freedom. “ With EPZwe go straight to technopolisAlouette reckons that the grid’s Square. This leads to the strengthening of forms of discrimination and segregation, the automation of policing and the denial of justice, and the increasingly dehumanizing of social relations. »
The author of the book is researcher Guillaume Faburel Barbarian Metropolises (Passager Clandestine, 2018) sees a form in the development of these new devices “ techno-paganism ». “ The EPZ fully corresponds to the concept of a smart cityhe continues. Human behaviors are treated as flows to be managed, and big data emerges as a unique model of social regulation. When it comes to a general and profound re-examination of our urban lifestyle and its ecological inadequacy, everything is bet on technology by stigmatizing the poorest. »