Google and Apple will integrate their own contact tracing solution directly into their smartphone operating system, and notification of extended close contact with someone living with Covid-19.
This system will be present in the next versions of iOS and Android: iOS 13.7, which was deployed on 1er September, and later versions on the one hand, and Android 6 and beyond on the other hand, will have this system later this month, according to specialist site The Verge.
At the request of local authorities
In countries where this system will be in place, owners of a phone will have to accept that it is activated in order to know whether or not they have crossed paths with carriers of the virus.
In theory, this novelty will allow public health authorities to no longer have to design their own tracking application. “We make it easier and faster for (public health authorities) to use the exposure notification system without having to create and maintain an application.”, said the two companies in a joint statement Tuesday.
But for the system to be implemented in a country, these authorities will have to make the request, and choose among different deployment options to citizens equipped with smartphones – including the criteria to be met before a message is sent. , or the message that will be displayed to alert recipients.
Google and Apple had already launched in April a software tool to operate, with Bluetooth, such applications for tracking contact cases, and sending alerts to users when they have been in prolonged contact with a patient. . This system is based on a technical architecture “Decentralized”, which has been made available to developers of official applications – and chosen in several countries that have developed such solutions.
But in France, the authorities' application, StopCovid, for its part is based on a technology other than that of Apple and Google – France having chosen a so-called protocol “Centralized”. The announcements of two American giants should therefore, except surprise, not concern French users of iOS or Android. Unless the French government ultimately decides to choose a smartphone warning system based on Apple and Google technologies.
Which would go against the StopCovid project – which Olivier Véran presented again, on August 27, as a solution “Independent from GAFA”. But the number of downloads of StopCovid, in France, was not as strong as expected after its deployment in early June, the latest figures from the Directorate General of Health citing 2.3 million downloads at the end of the month. summer.