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France's Covid-19 tracing app won't be ready for parliamentary debate

A mobile phone showing French President Emmanuel Macron, as he addresses the nation about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, is displayed for a photo in front of an almost empty motorway in Strasbourg, France, April 13, 2020.
A mobile phone showing French President Emmanuel Macron, as he addresses the nation about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, is displayed for a photo in front of an almost empty motorway in Strasbourg, France, April 13, 2020. © Christian Hartmann, Reuters

France's state-supported tracing app project "StopCovid" will not be ready when parliament debates it on April 28-29, the minister for digital affairs Cedric O said on Friday.

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The smartphone app, aimed at warning users if they came into contact with a coronavirus carrier, has raised questions about the impact of tracing technology on civil liberties.

The government has not provided much technical detail on the project, which will be based on a proximity-tracking Bluetooth app that users would install on their mobile phone on a voluntary basis.

A debate is scheduled in France's National Assembly on April 28-29 but no formal vote is planned.

"This app won't be finalized by April 28-29," O, a staunch defender of the tracing app, said during a video conference hearing with French lawmakers.

He added that the app may not even be ready by May 11, when the government plans to gradually lift the country's nationwide lockdown.

(REUTERS)

 

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