According to the government, France's Coronavirus warning app "StopCovid" has exceeded the first million mark. The state secretary for digital, Cédric O, wrote on Twitter on Saturday that the app had been activated a million times within four days. The free application has been available for download on mobile phones since Tuesday. The government had previously said that for the app to be effective, it had to be used by several million French people.
Along with Italy, Spain and Great Britain, France is one of the European countries that were particularly hard hit by the Covid 19 pandemic. So far, more than 29,000 people have died in France.
"StopCovid" is to use Bluetooth signals to record which smartphones have come close to each other. Citizens should then be warned if it later turns out that they have been next to infected people. "We don't have a specific destination, but we do know that this application is especially useful for city dwellers who take the subway at rush hour, who go to bars and restaurants that are in contact with a lot of people," O told the broadcaster RMC. How many contact cases the app has reported so far, O did not provide any information and referred the Ministry of Health.
Experts had already criticized that the French app does not use the interfaces that Apple and Google recently provided for corona tracing apps for their iOS and Android operating systems. This can lead to problems such as higher power consumption and less reliable Bluetooth detection.
With the iPhone in particular, the result is that the tracing app cannot run in the background, experts criticize. Instead, it had to be open in the foreground in order to be able to continuously send and receive Bluetooth signals - making it virtually unusable under the Apple iOS operating system. There are also data protection concerns: In the French model, the data is compared on a central server instead of just on smartphones.
In Germany, the first official app version will be available for iOS and Android in mid-June. Your program code has been openly available since Pentecost, the app is an open source project - this means that every developer can program suggestions for improvement.