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Covid-19: Apple and Google launch their solution-tracing

This sounds like a top start. Apple and Google have announced on Wednesday night that the publication of the technical specifications enabling public agencies of health to start developing their tracing applications. The impact of this announcement should, however, be very relative in France, a country which has opted for a solution that does not depend on this protocol, in the framework of its project StopCovid. In total, twenty-two countries in the world and many american States have expressed their interest and have asked to get access to the APIS from Apple and Google. Which is relatively small. The two companies "expect that more and more countries" join the group. The first applications could be launched in the near future, but this schedule depends on the States and not more than Apple and Google.

The specifics announced by Apple and Google only open to applications developed by the public authorities of health. It is necessary that the consent of the users is collected, that the application collect the least amount of data possible. In addition, they can only ask to receive geolocation data, or be used for targeted advertising.

work hand in hand

For the past five weeks, teams of Apple and Google come together to promote the development of tracing applications, "first and foremost designed to integrate into global policies for the fight against the pandemic of novel coronavirus", reminiscent of the two companies. The two companies state that these applications are intended to "alert the people if they came into contact with a patient Covid-19" and to help the efforts of the health authorities on the tracing of contacts, and not to replace them.

Apple and Google have decided to work hand in hand to "raise the technological hurdles", in order to, first of all, to allow a smartphone on Android to detect a Apple iPhone and vice-versa. Then, it was necessary that these applications work without draining the battery of the devices while using the Bluetooth in an intensive manner, in particular to encourage adoption. "The use of these applications will have a minor impact on the autonomy of the battery", mention spokesmen for Apple and Google.

The returns of health authorities have been taken into account to develop the program of development application (API). Both groups explain to have taken into account the remarks on the time of exposure between two people, for example, to trigger an alert. The health authorities may themselves choose the triggers for an alert. Moreover, Apple and Google have also stepped up measures taken with regard to the protection of privacy.

Apple and Google are also raised by the referees: they will allow an authorization of plot per country (or region), in order to be effective. But it is also a way of determining who can offer such an application. They reaffirm the incompatibility of their solution with applications using geolocation. In the interest of privacy, the identities of users are encrypted, their data are not shared.

A commitment to "counter-productive"

The decisions by Apple and Google have already caused much ink to flow, especially in France, where the government has chosen a different option. Paris is not an isolated case. The United States also some voices. The efforts of Apple and Google "are in vain", slice even the Washington Post.

The daily american believes that the strict rules of utilization put in place by the two companies will make these tracing applications ineffective! Of course, the people using them will be alerted if they cross a carrier of the Covid-19 (provided that it is itself equipped with the same application), but the data collected will not be usable by health authorities, not that they could be used to say where the meeting took place. In other words, the privacy will be well respected, but the data collected will not be used to determine a possible focus of infection. The situation is completely paradoxical, then, that the "clusters" are identified in the media. It is also the case in France, where the names of the companies - in particular slaughterhouses - where a number of significant cases of sick of coronavirus circulate. And there, it is not a question of respect for the privacy of the employees of these companies.

The position of Apple and Google is based on the idea of dogma, that is generally good: the refusal to share information of their clients and users with any State. However, in the specific case of an application tracing deployed to combat a pandemic, this position may be counter-productive. Helen Nissenbaum, professor of information sciences and director of the Digital Life Initiative, denounces a "smoke screen flaming" put in place by Apple and Google, reports the Washington Post. These two companies refuse to share information with health authorities in public, but tolerate for years the massive collection of data.

Boulevard at solutions that are more intrusive

Worse, the limits posed by the two american companies opened a boulevard to the most intrusive. The countries least respectful of the rights of Man may have the most effective tools. China has not done something else with his rating system citizen, "enriched", with a badge in red or green based on the risk presented face of the Covid-19.

applications based on geolocation and not an exchange of encrypted data by Bluetooth are much more effective... but go against all the principles of respect for private life set out in the western countries. The principles set forth by Apple and Google would even go against the interests of countries that intend to comply with them, since they may render ineffective the application of tracing. However, the establishment of the "brigade of health", method chosen by France, perfectly illustrates the need to trace the chain of transmission of the virus to fight the better against the pandemic.

The limits posed by Apple and Google have also encouraged many initiatives to work around. France, but also in the United Kingdom or Canada to try to find workarounds. More alarmingly, governments are not the only floor on the subject. Of companies, such as PWc, have already looked at the deployment of the application trace to provide employees of a company. The French government has chosen to close the door to such a provision. But will he be able to control them for a long time?

The editorial team conseilleApplication StopCovid : France can it really be happening to Apple ?StopCovid don't see the day before juinCoronavirus: Apple and Google unveil previews of applications traçageSujetsAppleGoogleCovid-19StopCovid8 commentaireskarimale 21/05/2020 at 12:05 pm

no thank you, it is necessary to stop this kind of society this is not good and is the result of a culture that is not our

tour31le 20/05/2020 23:07

yet another effort , we will all have to be the bearer of an electronic chip such as cats and dogs

DOUCE_FRANCEle 20/05/2020 at 22:55

But if one has nothing to hide why be afraid to be tracked???

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