Like other countries, France has also moved forward with its mobile application to combat COVID-19. It is called StopCovid and, like others of its kind, it allows the monitoring of contacts made by people infected with the disease.
But it seems that there is a problem that is not allowing the feature to work as desired on iPhones. Thus, the Gallic country now accuses Apple of not making an effort to make its equipment more compatible with the application.
As yet another form of massive prevention of this pandemic, many countries are turning to mobile applications for monitoring infected people. The goal is to try to determine the contacts they make with other people. As a rule, these apps use Bluetooth to detect nearby equipment, the owner of which may also have been infected, due to having been in contact with someone with the disease.
Australia has already launched its app called SafeCovid, as well as Germany, as a strategy to contain the virus. In Portugal, there is something similar to be considered, however, it seems that most would not give up their privacy in favor of a coronavirus surveillance app.
In another continent, India has announced that it will compel all employees, from the public and private sectors, to use its application.
France accuses Apple of not striving to make its app work better
This Tuesday, France pointed the finger at Apple, saying that it is not making an effort to fight the coronavirus, Reuters. The reason given is that the Cupertino company is refusing to make its iPhones more compatible with the French monitoring app, called StopCovid.
The problem is that iPhones block access to Bluetooth, except when the user is running the application directly. That is, if the app is being used in the foreground, Bluetooth is limited to that feature.
Thus, French authorities want Apple to change the settings of their smartphones, so that the StopCovid app can access Bluetooth when running in the background. This way it would always be in full operation. However, according to France, the technology giant has so far refused the request.
According to statements by the French Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, Cedric O., to BFM Business TV:
Apple could have helped us to make the application work even better on the iPhone. They do not wish to do so.
I regret that, as we are at a time when we are all mobilized to fight the epidemic, and a large company that is doing well economically is not helping a government in this crisis.
We consider that the supervision of the health system, in the fight against the coranavirus, is a matter of governments and not necessarily of the great American companies.
In turn, an Apple spokesman in France declined to comment.
The French secretary of state said that the StopCovid application should be implemented on June 2, regardless of Apple's position.
According to the results for the 1st quarter of 2020, released by Kantar, in France iOS is used by 21.1% of people, while Android is in 78.8% of Gaulish smartphones.