French govt launches virus tracing app as it allows people to go to restaurants & cafes
France is rolling out an official coronavirus contact-tracing app aimed at containing fresh outbreaks, as lockdown restrictions gradually ease. The French are able to download the StopCovid app on their Google Android devices and Apple iPhones starting Tuesday – the same day they are once again allowed to go to restaurants and cafes.
The country has become the first major European state to deploy the smartphone technology, amid a debate over privacy fears. The UK, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland are developing their own apps. They are using different technical protocols, raising questions about compatibility across Europe’s borders.
Like Britain, France rejected a new mobile software interface for tracing apps that was jointly developed by US tech giants Google and Apple, instead choosing to build its own.
The Google-Apple system uses a “decentralized” system backed by privacy experts because it keeps data on phones, AP said. However, British and French officials say it doesn’t give them enough information to manage outbreaks.