France’s state-backed Stop COVID contact-tracing app ought to enter its testing phase in the week of May 11 when the nation begins to unwind its lockdown, a government minister stated Sunday.
Minister for Digital Affairs Cedric O, a member of President Emmanuel Macron’s inner cabinet, introduced the app as a vital factor of France’s strategy to stave off the coronavirus as authorities grapple with the prospect of mass testing.
Countries worldwide are rushing to develop apps to assess the risk of one person infecting another, helping to isolate those who may spread the illness.
Like others in Europe, France has bet on the short-range Bluetooth handshakes between gadgets as one of the best strategies, dismissing the alternative of using location data pursued by some nations in Asia as intrusive.
However, debates have raged about whether to log such contacts on individual units or on the main server – which would be more directly useful to existing contact tracing groups that work phones and to warn those who could also be at risk.
France has thus far opted for a centralized approach, which would need Apple, in particular, to change the settings on its iPhones. The smartphone manufacturer has refused to budge, although discussions with the U.S. firm had been ongoing, O stated.
France’s most essential European partner, Germany, changed course last week over which type of smartphone technology it wanted to make use of, financing an approach lauded by Google and Apple along with a rising number of other European nations