France’s COVID Tracking App Garners Over 600,000 Downloads


France recently introduced a new app that tracks active cases of the novel coronavirus and alerts those at risk of getting it. According to the digital affairs minister of the country, within 24 hours of the launch, the app has been downloaded more than 600,000 times.

While talking to a local television channel, Cedric O, the secretary of state for France’s digital sector, claimed that the app was off to a good start. AppAnnie, an app analytics firm, stated that the app called StopCovid was on top of the list of French downloads not only on Google Android phones but also on Apple phones.

Apps for tracking the virus are now considered a vital tool to slow down its spread. Up till now, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of almost 29,000 people in the country.

Around the globe, several governments have either made apps on their have, or they have asked for help from private companies. For instance, tech giants like Google and Apple have partnered to make tracking software programs that are compatible with both operating systems.

Many such apps make use of Bluetooth technology, and it allows the phones to check if an individual has made close contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus. Of course, this assumed that the infected person had entered the diagnostic information in the application.

France refused to take help from both Google and Apple due to data privacy concerns.

Using the StopCovid app is not compulsory; it is more voluntary. However, officials have assured that no personal data will be revealed to any fellow users.

According to health experts, at least 60% of the population should use such technology to really make an impact. As countries start to lift the lockdown, many are still at risk of getting infected. However, many countries have failed to do so, including Asian countries, who were the first ones to introduce tracking apps.

Cedric O stated that he hopes millions of French people download the app, especially in crowded areas. In places like shops, public transport, restaurant, and bars, the app can help slow down the spread of the virus.