Secretary of State for Digital, Cédric O, was interviewed late Friday morning by the Economic Affairs Committee of the National Assembly. He was questioned on various subjects related to the digital life of the French during confinement, but also on the application currently tested by the government to trace the sick and their contacts in order to fight against the spread of Covid-19: intended to operate with Bluetooth of a smartphone, the application should allow the user to be warned if he has encountered a person infected with the virus.
This application, currently named StopCovid, “Will not be ready when it is debated in Parliament on April 28 and 29” Cédric O told deputies this Friday. It is currently being tested by INRIA researchers, who have to solve many challenges before its deployment.
Disgruntled LR MPs
The debate on the application, mentioned by Emmanuel Macron during his speech on April 13, is still scheduled to be held on April 28 in the National Assembly, then the next day in the Senate. It will not be followed by a vote on the subject, as permitted by Article 50-1 of the Constitution, which certain deputies deplored on Thursday 16 April. This is the case of Damien Abad, head of the group Les Républicains (LR) in the Assembly, and deputy LR Philippe Gosselin, member of the CNIL, who published a statement to demand “A vote in Parliament”. According to them, “The government cannot ignore the opinion of parliamentarians on such a sensitive subject for our public freedoms”.
According to MP La République en Marche (LREM) Eric Bothorel, who attended the hearing on Friday, Cédric O also mentioned the establishment of a ” monitoring committee “ after the parliamentary debate of April 28 and 29, “To control that the red lines which would be expressed by the political groups are not crossed”. To learn more about this French digital tracing application project, you can listen to our podcast dedicated to it: