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France to launch its contact-tracing app this weekend after lawmakers’ approval

France to launch its contact-tracing app this weekend after lawmakers’ approval

The French government is preparing a weekend launch of its contact-tracing app, a tool developed independently of the more widely used Apple/Google platform.

The plan for the ‘StopCovid’ app in France had led to a standoff with Apple, which had refused French officials’ request to change the settings to let their app access Bluetooth in the background, so it is always switched on.

France and Britain have decided to keep contact data in a central database, arguing this would make it easier for authorities to track suspected coronavirus cases. However, Apple and Google want data to be stored on the phones themselves, out of government reach, saying this would better protect the privacy of users, Reuters said.

The government’s project was approved by the lower house of parliament on Wednesday. It was moved to the upper house Senate, whose vote is not binding.