France launches ‘terror app’ to alert Euro 2016 fans

© Robert Galbraith
Soccer fans flocking to France for the Euro 2016 championship will be able to download a free ‘terror alert’ app that will warn them of an imminent threat if French security services uncover potential danger.

The terror alert app project, available in French and English, has been piloted by the French Interior Ministry. The app user has to agree to provide their geolocation to be notified of “unexpected events” related to the ongoing flood situation in France, as well as “in case of a suspected attack,” The Local reports, quoting the ministry.

The app is designed to provide practical advice on how to stay safe in different emergency situations, the ministry says.

The service promises to alert users less than 15 minutes after the actual incident is confirmed by the authorities, and will advise fans based on their exact locations.

Another feature of the app is the ability to monitor alerts in up to eight other locations designated by the user to make sure that friends and relatives are safe.

The original idea to develop a terror alert app emerged immediately after the attacks in Paris in November 2015, with Prime Minister Manuel Valls personally pushing for its release ahead of Euro 2016.

The French government believes the app, seen as an additional way to spread official information about the security situation, will prove to be an effective tool in helping citizens and foreign guests to stay safe during the sportive event, which begins in Paris on Friday, June 10.

An estimated 2.5 million fans are expected to watch matches in the stadiums during the tournament, with 1.5 million foreign visitors traveling to France for the event.