France COVID-19 tracing app difficult to link to other people, EU official says

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PARIS: A coronavirus tracking app contacts to be introduced in France may not be able to connect with other countries in the European Union because it stores data centrally, from the European Commission, vice President, Margrethe Vestager, said Tuesday.

The EU has been hoping that applications developed by member states to track infections will be able to make the connection when people move within the block, mapping the virus from spreading the best and creating more security for a travel and tourism alarm clock. Member states have agreed technical standards for this Tuesday.

But France’s approach, which allows for central location tracking but also raised concerns about confidentiality, differs from that of Germany, Italy and others, the newspaper des Bluetooth signal contacts on different smart phones.

“It’s a little trickier to develop technical standards for interoperability between decentralized systems, as I think will be the general rule, and the centralized system that France has been aiming for, ever since,” Vestager said , the French parliament in a videoconference.

The app’s Germany launched Tuesday, following a standard set up by Apple and the Google Alphabet – whose iOS and Android systems run 99 percent of all smartphones.

France has also said that access to its centralized data is a matter of sovereignty. Its app, StopCovid, was launched on June 2 and approximately 1.5 million people downloaded and activated it to be roughly 2% of the population.

The development of French, the application was led by the national research institute Inria, with the support of French companies, like the telecommunications company Orange, the IT consulting group of Capgemini and the software company of Dassault Systèmes.

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