Health Data Hub: Azure will have competition

Health Data Hub : Azure aura de la concurrence Cybersecurity

Microsoft may no longer be the operator chosen to manage and store health data within the French technology platform of the Health Data Hub, whose deployment has accelerated in the health context. Faced with journalists gathered on Tuesday for a conference on the StopCovid application, the Secretary of State for Digital, Cédric O, hinted that a call for tenders could be held soon to give the possibility other potential players to get involved in the project.

“It would be normal that, in the coming months, we could launch a call for tenders in order to have a wider choice with the specifications that will allow someone to position themselves. But if we had not made this decision a year ago, we would not have the capacity to do what we are doing today with the Health Data Hub, ”sketched the Minister.

“We have a particular attachment to French digital sovereignty. We do a lot for French Tech, our government is one of those who has done the most for French Tech. But it is advisable to have a reasoned use: we are also open so that American investors and companies can operate in France ”, he underlines. Note that the French government has recently reiterated its desire to see European data sovereignty formed, through the Gaia-X initiative, carried jointly with Germany.

The initial choice of Microsoft Azure would therefore have been made mainly for technical reasons, in a simplification approach, explains Guillaume Poupard. “In a prototyping phase, the choice of an easy-to-use solution was favored. The portability of the system was mentioned from the start and is an important point. We are now in an operational phase, and to come back to a European solution ideally qualified by Anssi and not subject to European extra-territorial laws would be in good taste, “said the director of Anssi.

“Why so many mysteries? “Wonders Octave Klaba

Some French players have quickly risen to the front in recent weeks on this decision, deemed arbitrary, like the boss of OVH, Octave Klaba, who had wanted to learn about the technical requirements required by the technological platform of the Health Data Hub . “Why are there still so many mysteries around the technical specifications? Asked the latter on Twitter.

The HDH website has since published a non-exhaustive list of the services used by the HDH on its technological platform: “today, the functionalities are implemented through the use of around fifty services on the technological platform from the Health Data Hub, from different suppliers. More than half of these services are linked to securing the platform, ”reveals the FAQ.

Among the services deployed on the platform, let us cite in particular the virtualization of machines presenting the elastic computing capacities (CPU, GPU) necessary for the platform and for projects, the structuring of storage spaces in object mode, the structuring of storage spaces in file system mode, monitoring the consumption costs of cloud resources, or even triggering events on the technology platform and transporting messages related to these events.

“In addition to covering the functional need, the choice fell on solutions whose level of integration, management and maturity favors security management at the level of each element of the technological platform, the robustness of the platform technological, the reduction of the operational maintenance time and the reduction of the integration load. With an integration effort deemed equivalent, the most reversible solution is preferred “, justifies the HDH management.

The officials also certified that the hosting was done in the European Union, since “the data is currently stored in Microsoft data centers in the Netherlands”.

At the same time, remember that the health data platform must once again pass the CNIL, which has been instructed by the Council of State to assess the robustness of the pseudonymisation measures. In its emergency opinion on the decree of April 21, 2020, the CNIL had also stressed the importance of pseudonymization measures and made a number of recommendations. To date, “as soon as the CNIL has received the documents necessary to carry out a complete analysis, it will be able to continue the expertise it had initiated in the context of this notice,” declared the competent authority on its site .


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