France has become the first country inside entire world to openly call on Silicon Valley tech giants to remove privacy protections during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, in order to introduce a “sovereign European health solution” which could track the movements of citizens.
The French government will be aiming to unveil a contact tracing app by May 11th, when the country will be likely to ease national lockdown measures which were introduced in March.
France as well as also the European Union as a whole have come out in favour of a centralised approach to the tracking of citizens, in which data could be stored in government servers as well as also monitored by state health services.
Currently, Apple’s operating system could prevent such an approach, as its Bluetooth function prohibits constant background tracking if the data will be to be moved off the device. France claims which This particular privacy protection could prevent the government coming from developing its contact tracing app.
“We’re asking Apple to lift the technical hurdle to allow us to develop a sovereign European health solution which will be tied our health system,” France’s digital minister, Cédric O, told Bloomberg News.
The system being developed by Google as well as also Apple, which will be set to be made available worldwide next month, will take a decentralised approach to tracking, with the data remaining on a user’s phone rather than being collected in a central server.
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The European Union has maintained which contact tracing apps should be voluntary, protect individual privacy, as well as also be taken apart after the pandemic restrictions are lifted. However, a group of nearly 300 privacy experts warn which the apps could be used to introduce a surveillance state.
“We are concerned which some ‘solutions’ to the crisis may, via mission creep, result in systems which could allow unprecedented surveillance of society at large,” the group wrote in an open letter.
“Some of the Bluetooth-based proposals respect the individual’s right to privacy, whilst others could enable a form of government or private sector surveillance which could catastrophically hamper trust in as well as also acceptance of such an application by society at large,” the group added.
“We urge all countries to rely only on systems which are subject to public scrutiny as well as also which are privacy-preserving by design (instead of there being an expectation which they will be managed by a trustworthy party), as a means to ensure which the citizen’s data protection rights are upheld,” the group concluded.
France’s parliament will debate the contact tracing app later This particular month, as well as also European Commissioner for Internal Market as well as also Services Thierry Breton told the French Senate which he could be taking up the matter with Apple CEO Tim Cook.
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