In the Walloon rest homes, everyone will have been tested on Sunday

In the Walloon rest homes, everyone will have been tested on Sunday

Europe: tracking apps are increasing, but for what results?

The ideas for a tracing application project to curb the spread of the coronavirus raise many concerns in terms of respecting freedoms in Europe. What projects are planned in other countries? Which countries are already experimenting with these applications and for what results? How would this application work in France? The application would use bluetooth technology. Simply put, if someone downloads it, the phone will scan all other devices nearby. If this person then contracts the Covid19 and communicates it via the application, other people who have encountered it at some point, whether on the street, in transport or in a store, will be notified. It would operate on a voluntary basis. According to Bruno Sportisse, CEO of the Inria which oversees the project in France, the data would be pseudonyms: in other words, your name would not be communicated, nor would it use the geolocation data. Still according to Bruno Sportisse, the identity of the person who is infected will not be communicated to the person who receives the notification. Finally, only crypto-identifiers would be communicated to the central server. “No one, not even the state, will have access to the list of infected people and to social interactions via the central server,” says Bruno Sportisse. But the technology still arouses the suspicion of many Internet users. The CNIL, the internet gendarme, for its part found that the application complies with European data protection regulations “if certain conditions are met” (volunteering and the use of pseudonyms). Germany backtracking Concerns also concern data storage. This is what prompted the German government to turn around. This prefers a decentralized architecture, which allows users to store data only on their phones. In Germany, another application has been developed by the Robert Koch Institute. The principle here is somewhat different. This time, it works via a connected watch or a fitness bracelet. Users report data such as gender, age, height, weight, temperature, pulse and physical activity, or vital data, in order to recognize symptoms of Covid-19 if they arise. Again, according to the Institute, the data transferred is pseudonymized and the use is voluntary. In Spain, a similar application is used in some regions, but it uses the GPS data of the phones. In Austria, a low download rate Nevertheless, it is the principle of bluetooth technology which seems to have been adopted by most European countries. In Austria, an app like this was launched last week under the auspices of the Red Cross. It works with bluetooth technology and also allows a person who has contracted the virus to warn people he has encountered. The application has recorded at this stage more than 400,000 downloads, which represents only 4.5% of the population. Same bluetooth technology anticipated in Poland, Norway, the United Kingdom (the digital subsidiary of the NHS, British Social Security, working on a version), in Italy … Switzerland, for its part, will offer an application on May 11 developed by researchers from Lausanne and Zurich. But many researchers have warned that at least 60% of the population should use the application for it to be truly effective. This seems far from being the case for the Austrian example, and it seems to be off to a bad start in France, as distrust of the government tends to increase.



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