France will start testing its COVID-19 tracking app the week of May 11th

France was one of the first countries scrambling to create a COVID-19 contact tracing app, and now it’s close to finding out how its works in practice. Digital Affairs Minister Cedric O has stated (via Reuters) that France’s StopCOVID should enter real-world the of May 11th, right as the country will easing pandemic lockdown measures. He didn’t say when the app might be ready for widespread use, although that’s likely to depend on initial results.

And before you ask: no, France isn’t budging on its desire to loosen Apple’s Bluetooth restrictions for the sake of the app. While O acknowledged that both France’s centralized approach (which stores identifiers for positive contacts in one place) had Apple’s decentralized method had flaws, he argued that the method supported by iOS was “crippling.” It allegedly had inferior data protections and gave up control, making it difficult for a health authority to learn from info without asking tech companies.

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