May 4 (UPI) — A French government minister said sunday local time that StopCOVID, a French government-backed contact-tracking app for new coronaviruses, will enter the testing phase in the week of May 11, when France will begin lifting the ban, according tomedia reports.
Cedric O, the digital affairs minister who is a key member of French President Emmanuel Macron’s cabinet, described the app as a key part of France’s strategy to contain the current epidemic of new coronaviruses, which is struggling to cope with a massive new coronavirus test.
“There’s nothing magical about this app,” Cedric O wrote on Media, an online reading platform. “
Countries are developing applications to assess the risk of mutual infection and help isolate those who may spread the disease.
Like other European countries, France has chosen Bluetooth “handshakes” between mobile devices as the best way to measure the risk of infection, without using location-based data tracking in some Asian countries.
However, the debate over whether to record such contact information on a single device or on a central server has become intense. Tracking information will help track the team and alert people at risk of infection.
So far, France has opted for a “centralisation” approach, which will particularly require Apple to change the settings of its iPhone. Cedric O said Apple refused to budge, but discussions with Apple were still ongoing.
“France’s health and technological sovereignty gives our country the freedom to choose, without the constraints of the choices of big companies, no matter how innovative and efficient they may be,” wrote Cedric O. “
Germany, France’s most important partner in Europe, last week tweaked the use of what type of smartphone technology to use to track the outbreak, instead supporting Google and Apple and a growing number of other European countries.