Covid-19 France: App may flag up infection risk

A mobile phone application that alerts users if they have been in prolonged contact with a person who has been tested positive for Covid-19 could be part of France’s strategy for coming out of the confinement period.

President Macron confirmed that that government “will be working on” the possibility in the run-up to confinement measures being eased from May 11, however so far nothing has been decided.

“We must not rule out any avenues, any innovations,” he said.

The idea of using IT to track people’s digital data so as to see if they had been in touch with infected people was dismissed last month by Interior Minister Christophe Castaner as “not part of French culture” and something that “harms each person’s individual liberty”.

However last week IT Minister Cédric O and Health Minister Olivier Véran said France was working on an app project called StopCovid. This would not “track” people as such, but rather work by Bluetooth connecting between two phones which carry the app.

Mr O said at the time nothing would be decided without “a wide debate”, but that the app would aim to “limit the spread of the virus by identifying ...

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