France unveils its project team for the StopCovid application


In the midst of the battle for words over whether a decentralized or centralized approach is best for a COVID-19 contact search application, France has advanced in its plans to launch a centralized application, while Germany has seemed to switch sides over the weekend.

In France, CNIL data protection surveillance has largely paved the way for a program supported by the government to develop an application, called StopCovid. The watchdog based his assessment on the fact that the use of the application would be voluntary, although he warned that the data should be “pseudonymized” and that the application should be part of a health strategy world.

The French Parliament has not yet debated the issue, but a StopCovid application project team has already been unveiled. According to an Orange press release, he includes Inria as coordinator as well as ANSSI, Capgemini, Dassault Systèmes, Inserm, Lunabee Studio, Orange, Sant Publique France and Withings. Its objective is to “provide French health authorities with a complementary digital tool to help manage the health emergency against Covid19”.

Orange also said the project was carried out in close cooperation with Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Norway, “on the basis of comparable approaches and ensuring interoperability.”

However, Germany already seems to have changed its mind, opting instead for a decentralized approach mainly promoted by Apple and Google, because it seems that its previous approach, based on the centralized standard called Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP – PT), would have needed Apple to modify the parameters of the iPhones.

Although France and the UK still seem to support a centralized approach, there are signs that an increasing number of countries are turning against this option due to “unprecedented surveillance of society as a whole”, like this was revealed in an open letter published by hundreds of scientists last week. Reuters also noted that iPhones would integrate with the confidentiality-keeping proximity tracking protocol (DP-3T), developed by a team led by Switzerland and supported by Switzerland, Austria and Estonia.

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Anne Morris, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading


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