Is tracing the phone to stop the Covid-19 epidemic a technology “Innovative”, “essential to avoid a second major health crisis and, ultimately, a new containment” the French ? Or rather a “Disastrous project”, a “State surveillance tool” piloted by “Sorcerer's apprentices” ?
While the National Assembly must debate, Tuesday, April 28, the modalities of implementation of a tracking application, baptized StopCovid, designed by a European consortium, speaking out is increasing around the risks and hopes raised by this method of controlling the spread of the virus. The world open the debate by publishing a series of forums, to help you make up your own mind.
“The health interest is major”
The use of the application is based on volunteering and anonymity, recalls a group of scientists and health professionals, arguing that “To avoid a second health crisis, you have to give yourself the means.” “For a virus like SARS-CoV-2, rapid and exhaustive detection of contacts is essential in order to guarantee control of the epidemic”, they defend.
“The health interest is major here: risky contacts are traced instantly and anonymously for all cases detected on a given day. Such performance is impossible with traditional contact tracing approaches alone. ”
“Combined with epidemiological tests and investigations, this tool will help to break down the chains of transmission early, to control the epidemic and to limit the morbidity and mortality linked to this virus”, they say in defense of the application. While recognizing that “Its adoption and use will depend in any event on its appropriation by society”.
“StopCovid does not guarantee data collection”
Parliamentarians must ” renounce “ purely and simply to this technology, plead, on the contrary, three digital specialists, for whom “The shadow of private interests of technology companies” weighs on this tool, which would only be the “Continuation of containment by other means”.
Above all, they believe, “StopCovid would be exposed to the greatest danger: that of transforming itself shortly into” StopCovid Analytica “, a new version of the Cambridge Analytica scandal”, a siphoning of private data from tens of millions of Facebook accounts. Because, for them, “The StopCovid project offers no guarantee as to the exact purposes of collecting this data. ”
“The time has come to establish our digital sovereignty”
For their part, 108 parliamentarians from the right and from the center call, on the initiative of Senator Jean-François Husson and MP Robin Reda, for a constitutional revision for a charter of common data heritage in order to “To establish our digital sovereignty” by making the State the guarantor of their use.
“There is no legal regime today that frames them, we in fact entrust our data to the Gafam [Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple et Microsoft] “, they observe, concluding that “State intervention in the matter is not a problem, but the solution”.
Deconfinement: the insoluble equation of health tracing applications
“Emergency measures should not be transformed into ordinary measures afterwards”, by Claire Gerardin, communications consultant, specialist in new technologies
“Technology must be controlled, including its use by the State”, by Philippe Delmas, president of PhD Associates, an industrial strategy consultancy
“Citizens' trust will only be acquired if certain technical, operational and legal conditions are met”, by David Bounie, Winston Maxwell and Xavier Vamparys, researchers at Télécom Paris (Institut Polytechnique de Paris)
“We shot ourselves again in the foot with the GDPR”, by Thierry Klein, founder and CEO of Speechi, publisher of hardware and software solutions for training and distance communication
“To be effective, the tracing measures must be accepted”, by Cécile Maisonneuve, president of the think tank La Fabrique de la Cité, and Yann Padova, lawyer at Baker McKenzie
“We must consider health data as a common good”, by David Chopin, business manager, speaker in management sciences at the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts, Julien Mendoza, manager in “data strategy” at the consulting firm Deloitte , and member of the EuroCité think tank, Alvaro Pina Stranger, lecturer at the Center for Research in Economics & Management (CREM, Rennes-1 University), and Aurélien Romano, freelance journalist