France sees Apple as a hurdle in the introduction of a planned Corona app. The problems have already been discussed with the iPhone manufacturer, but no progress has been made so far.
iPhone apps can only communicate in the background via the Bluetooth interface to a very limited extent. Corona App for contact tracking, which is implemented without Apple’s blessing, would therefore have to be kept permanently in the foreground on iPhones.
Disagreement About Central Or Decentralized Storage Of Data
All planned Corona warning apps are to use Bluetooth signals to record which smartphones are closest to each other and warn users if it later turns out that they are next to infected people.
However, the question of whether data should be stored centrally or decentrally is currently causing a dispute between the researchers involved in Europe. Critics of centralized storage warn of potential for surveillance and misuse, advocates point to security risks if data is exchanged on a large scale between many devices.
Apple and Google have already announced a special interface for contact tracking, which should be available to developers from mid-May and which also enable background operation of such apps under iOS. The companies announced that the technical basis for contact tracking should also become part of the iOS and Android operating systems in the coming months. Contact tracking can be carried out immediately after it is optimized, without having to install an app first.
A Central Storage Approach
Apple’s and Google’s contact tracking API however, relies on a decentralized approach, in which the IDs are recorded by Bluetooth and are managed locally on the devices and runs counter to the current French plans that pursue a central storage approach. Whether Apple wants to make changes to the API remains open for the time being.