European harmonization of Covid tracking applications: "It is further strengthening the power of Gafam on digital", judges the Quadrature du Net


The association which campaigns for the protection of privacy on the internet believes that the StopCovid application, which was not selected, was less intrusive than the centralized system chosen by the European Commission.

The European Commission decided last weekend to harmonize the different contact tracing systems to fight Covid-19. It has opted for so-called "decentralized" architecture, which notably excludes France and its StopCovid application. "The European Union has decided to use the Apple and Google system to track all Europeans", reacted Monday, August 3 on News i Benoît Piedallu, member of the Net quadrature, association which militates in particular for the protection of the private life on Internet.

"For us, it is a problem because it is further strengthening the power of the Gafam [Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft] on digital in Europe. They could clearly have chosen another solution, for example an option like that of France ", defended the associative activist.

Benoît Piedallu explains that France has chosen a centralized architecture "different from other European applications" who have chosen a decentralized architecture "based on the operation proposed by Apple and Google". According to him, "the principle of the centralized architecture is that the data is fed back to a central server which keeps all the reconciliation data of the contacts that you have had with the people you meet".

Benoît Piedallu recognizes "a political choice which could be considered as positive, if France had succeeded in influencing its European partners to ensure that they fit into the same architecture, and are compatible with the StopCovid application".

But for the representative of Quadrature du Net, the question is: "Is the StopCovid app and the Covid tracking apps a good solution? We don't think it is." Benoît Piedallu recalls that if the application has been downloaded 2.5 million times, as specified by the Secretary of State for Digital Cédric O, "there have been at least 500,000 uninstallations" since launch.

The fact that the French application is downloaded very little and ultimately used very little – since a lot of people have uninstalled it – is already part of the problem, that is to say that it is ultimately of little use. .Benoît Piedallu, member of Quadrature du netto News i

For La Quadrature du Net, "The origin of the application was already problematic, because it legitimizes a question of monitoring. And it is not effective". Benoît Piedallu believes that "tests are absolutely essential for the functioning of this type of application". However, according to him, "In France in particular, tests are very difficult to find. When you don't have a test, you don't have the effectiveness of this kind of application at all".

Benoît Piedallu considers that the government is "technological solutionism" because "He failed to deal with the coronavirus in a classic way by offering masks and testing from the start. And today we tell him look, we are going to use an app. In fact, we are talking about it. notices that the application itself is not efficient ", concludes Benoît Piedallu.

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