Tim CookSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • French carrier Orange says it is having daily discussions with Apple over contact tracing.
  • Apple has clashed with the French government because it won't support France's centralized method of contact tracing.
  • Orange's CEO also implied that Germany had not completely abandoned centralized tracing.

Orange CEO Stephane Richard has stated that the company is having daily meetings with Apple regarding contact tracing.

As reported by Reuters:

Orange is in intense discussions with Apple over developing France's smartphone app for tracing people who are at risk of coronavirus infection, the French company's CEO Stephane Richard said.

Countries are rushing to develop apps to assess the risk that one person can infect another with the coronavirus, helping to isolate those who could spread it.

Richard reportedly stated:

"There are meetings almost every day. It's not a done deal yet (...) but we have a discussion dynamic with Apple that is not bad"

France has previously claimed that Apple's privacy policy is blocking its contact tracing app. However, Cupertino has been clear it will not support apps that use a centralized database as part of its contact tracing setup, something France and the UK's NHS are keen to implement.

In a stark u-turn earlier this week, Germany reversed course in favor of Apple and Google's approach, after having previously vocally supporting centralized tracing. Richard claims that the Germans "are keeping a channel open" and haven't chosen one side or the other yet. He claims that Germany is working on both methods, in contrast to previous reports. France's contact tracing app 'StopCovid' (the name could change) is currently due to be ready by the end of May. As the report notes, the French parliament is due to debate the app following privacy concerns that have been raised.

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