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StopCovid, app to trace finally available for phase 2 of the déconfinement

The suspense lasted a part of the afternoon. The application StopCovid, designed to alert its user in case of contact with a carrier of the coronavirus, has finally arrived on the app stores of Apple and Google with a few hours of delay. This time, due to "final adjustments" according to our information, has given rise to some confusion, and the application downloads Catalan (Stop Covid19 Cat) have suddenly flamed!

things are, since then, entered in the order. The delay has been explained by last minute adjustments to ensure access to all in case of massive demand. It has however, provoked a further spate of false news, some of which have not hesitated to assert itself on the social networks that the application had not been approved by Apple, due to issues related to the use of the Bluetooth.

see also : Le Figaro has tested for you the application StopCovid, available from today

These new infox are added to those of last weekend. The latest updates of operating systems from Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) have created confusion, leaving imagine to some that the application of the French government was installed by default in the smartphones! Alain Houpert, a senator and LR of the Côte-d'or has even relayed the rumor in a tweet... It is nothing. The installation of StopCovid is a voluntary act, requiring the intervention of the owner of the smartphone. The update made by Apple and Google concerning the services that are going to use their application programming interface (API), which is not the case of StopCovid.

Other about confusion on the social networks, geolocation. During the installation of StopCovid on an Android smartphone (all brands in the market, except Apple), the access to the position of the telephone is required: this is an application made by Android. It is necessary to answer "no ", as mentioned in a message appearing on the screen, since StopCovid works without gps.

A gesture barrier

similarly, StopCovid does not have access to the address book contents in the smartphones of its users, contrary to what was said Jean-Luc Mélenchon during a parliamentary debate last week. The application trace contacts "physical" of its user: it is id Bluetooth anonymized and encrypted, designed to prevent these aliases can be reassigned to people. Of course, no computer program is foolproof, but a particular attention has been paid to the design of it, mobilizing experts of the national Agency for the security of information systems (Ansii) of the Inria or Orange and Cap Gemini.

The code is rather clean, they have done a good job.

Baptiste Robert, a specialist in cyber security

Highly criticized even before its launch, StopCovid has been the subject of a "bug bounty", a process in which hackers are challenged to find vulnerabilities. Five days were left to these specialists in cyber security. They have found, but nothing that can't be resolved, the confession even of the most virulent. "The code is rather clean, they have done a good job", saluted, and Baptiste Robert, a specialist in cybersecurity, known under the pseudonym of Elliot Alderson. He noted, "of more or less serious errors, but nothing catastrophic."

But like many, he remains convinced that StopCovid "is a step towards a wrong direction." Amnesty International estimates for its part that "any application allowing to trace the actions and interactions of people is akin to the surveillance and constitutes a threat to the right to privacy". The underlying issue is indeed whether it is possible to trust the French State for the management of personal data. Or if, as some affirm, it is more advisable to entrust it to Apple and Google. The debate is complex.

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