Video: the StopCovid application (finally) available on iPhone and Android

Video: the StopCovid application (finally) available on iPhone and Android Cybersecurity

It took several weeks of debate and a development carried out at no charge for the government application StopCovid to be finally offered on the application store of Google (on the Play Store at this address) and Apple (on the Apple Store at this address) yesterday at midday.

The objective of the developers of the application is to curb the spread of Covid-19 in France by identifying close contacts with potentially contagious people.

We tested the download and installation of the application on iPhone. The two manipulations are not a problem, the application once launched offers various warning screens on the disease, barrier gestures and measures of social distancing. The user is then asked to access the device’s Bluetooth. Finally, the application asks the owner of the application to be activated to function.

The StopCovid app records the fact that the smartphone was close to another
smartphone also equipped with the application

From this moment, the StopCovid application records the fact that the smartphone on which the application is installed was located near another smartphone also equipped with the application, less than a meter away, for at least minus fifteen minutes.

If the owner of a smartphone equipped with the application is diagnosed with Covid-19, he can enter it directly in his application using a code or QR code provided by medical teams. From then on, the device will make it possible to trace the activity of the person affected by the virus, and to contact the people who may have been in contact with them. Informed people will not know, however, who is the person initially seen in the past two weeks who has been diagnosed with Covid-19.

Video: the StopCovid application (finally) available on iPhone and Android

Also note very clear explanations on the use and storage of data presented in the various pages offered in the application. The possibilities of erasing data and uninstalling the application are also very explicit.

The question of confidence in the use of location data is a thorny one

These multiple precautions attempt to respond to the controversy over the use of contact tracing technology to combat the disease. Especially on one point: the conservation of user data is carried out on a server, and not on smartphones, as the alternative technology from Google and Apple offer.

As a result, the user does not really have control over the data that comes out of his phone. The question of confidence in the use of location data is all the more difficult since this contact tracing technology could be used for purposes other than the health question.

Announced for June 2 at noon by Cédric O, the Secretary of State for Digital, the provision of the application was several hours late due to technical “adjustments” that were necessary before its launch, explained the development teams. In the late afternoon, the application was available on the stores of Google and Apple.

French parliamentarians voted for the implementation of the application on Wednesday May 27.

The application was developed by several French companies (Capgemini, Dassault Systèmes, Lunabee Studio, Orange, Withings) with public bodies (National Agency for Information Systems Security, Inserm and Public Health France), under supervision at the same time from the government and research teams from the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (Inria).


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