StopCovid ecosystem developing a contact tracing app for France

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The French initiative is in close cooperation with national teams developing comparable applications in Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain and Norway, to ensure comparable approaches and interoperability.

The project’s purpose is to provide the French health authorities with a complementary digital tool to help manage the Covid19 emergency.

Orange is responsible for the distribution of the app and its interoperability, while the French government made Inria responsible for the operational management of the R&D StopCovid project, which brings together the experts from the public and private sectors.

The participants in StopCovid are contributing to work already under way to provide French citizens with a tool to protect them against Covid19.

Five foundations

The guidelines were set by the French Government on five foundations:

• The use of the StopCovid app as part of the global strategy for managing the health crisis and epidemiological monitoring. StopCovid project provides public health auhtorities with a decision-making support for the deconfinement phase.

•  Strict compliance with the data protection and privacy framework at national and European level, as defined in particular by French law and GDPR, as well as the toolbox recently defined by the European Commission on proximity monitoring applications.

• Transparency covers the dissemination, under an open source licence, of the work carried out within the project’s framework. This provides guarantees in terms of transparent algorithms, open code, interoperability, auditability, security and reversibility of the solutions. Consequently, the solution could act as basic building blocks for any country wishing to use them.

• Uphold the principles of digital sovereignty for the public health system such as control of health choices by French and European society, protection and structuring of health data assets to guide the response to the epidemic and accelerate medical research.

• The temporary nature of the project, whose lifespan will correspond, if deployed, to the duration of the management of the Covid-19 epidemic.  

Multi-party effort

The project is conducted under the supervision of the state and gives rise to regular interactions with independent control authorities, notably the CNIL (Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés - French Data Protection Authority). It also involves DINUM (inter-ministerial directorate for digital).

Other partners are:
• Inria to coordinate and transmission protocol and ensure privacy-by-design;
- The National Cybersecurity Agency of France (ANSSI) is responsible for cybersecurity
- Capgemini for the back-end architecture and development
- Dassault Systèmes – SecNumCloud looks after qualified sovereign data infrastructure
- Inserm to oversee health models
- Lunabee Studio for the development of mobile apps
- Santé Publique France for the integration and coordination of the application in the global strategy of contact tracing
- Withings for connected objects.