What you need to know
- France is moving forward with its own contact tracing technology.
- The government announced it would not be adopting Apple and Google's approach.
- Its own app is set to move into testing on May 11th.
A couple of weeks ago, Germany reversed course on building a centralized solution to its contact tracing app and now support a decentralized solution in line with the technology Apple and Google are developing.
According to a new report by Reuters, France is not planning on joining them. The country's homegrown solution called "StopCOVID" is planned to enter testing the week of May 11th as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.
Cedric O, France's Minister for Digital Affairs, says that the country's ability to choose its own path on how to implement contact tracing technology is more important than Apple's solution, regardless of how "innovative and efficient it may be."
"French health and technological sovereignty ... is the freedom for our country to be able to have the choice and not be constrained by the choices of a large company, however innovative and efficient it may be."
O does say that although the country is currently moving forward with its own centralized approach, conversations between France and Apple are ongoing.
"France has so far opted for a "centralised" approach, which would need Apple in particular to change the settings on its iPhones. The smartphone maker has refused to budge, although discussions with the U.S. company were ongoing, O said."
The Minister went on to say that the app is not the entire solution to the country's fight against the virus and that it will only be useful if it is integrated on a global scale.
"There's nothing magical about this app, but it's not technological coquetry either," O wrote on online publishing platform Medium. "It's only useful if it's integrated into a global health system."