French Health Minister Olivier V?ran and French Digital Affairs Minister Cedric O have officially announced that the French government is developing a smartphone app to slow the spread of the new coronavirus,media reported. While the French government is stamping the “pan-European Privacy Privacy Access Tracking (PEPP-PT)” project with approval, it still needs to be cautious about the future of the app.
Olivier V?ran Infographic
In Europe, using mobile apps to track new coronaviruses is a sensitive issue. Dozens of non-profit organizations have written a joint statement urging governments to respect human rights. They worry that the government may use this opportunity to implement far-reaching surveillance measures that not only do not meet the regulatory framework but will remain in place after the new coronavirus crisis. In response, the European Commission warned governments that they should put in place appropriate safeguards because EU citizens would not trust contact tracking apps if inappropriate users of personal information appeared.
This may be why the government is trying to placate people by stopping the use of the new coronavirus before they are released. France’s Minister of Digital Affairs said in a statement that its department was working with the ministry of health, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation on the project.
People who support contact tracking applications believe that combining these applications with active detection and self-isolation will help break the infection chain.
In an interview with Le Monde, C?dric O and Olivier V?ran said France would not force the public to install the Stop Covid app, which would only use Bluetooth. At the moment, the application prototype is ready to run, but the full version of development will take three to six weeks.
In fact, it remains to be seen whether the French government will eventually release the app. “We’re not sure we can overcome all the technical difficulties because Bluetooth isn’t used to measure distance between people, ” C?dric O told Le Monde. We’ll decide later whether it’s useful to launch such an app. “
Turning to privacy, C?dric O said the app would be open source and that france’s privacy regulator, the French National Data Protection Commission (CNIL), would have a say.