France Wants Apple to Lift iPhone Bluetooth Restrictions for Deployment of Virus Tracking App

France has asked Apple to remove a Bluetooth limitation that it claims is delaying the launch of a government-designed app for contact tracing to fight the coronavirus, reports Bloomberg.

iphonexriphone11
iOS has a restriction that prevents apps like the one France is working on from using Bluetooth in the background if the data collected is going to be moved off of the device, which is a rule designed to protect user privacy. With this limitation, a contact tracing app is only able to access Bluetooth when an iPhone is unlocked and the app is open.

France's Digital Minister Cedric O told Bloomberg that that France is aiming to launch a contact tracing app by May 11 and that Apple's restriction is standing in the way.

"We're asking Apple to lift the technical hurdle to allow us to develop a sovereign European health solution that will be tied our health system," O said in an interview with Bloomberg. Ministers have discussed their concerns with Apple, but aren't making progress, he said.

An Apple spokesperson contacted by Bloomberg declined to comment, but pointed toward Apple's previous statement on its partnership with Google for a multi-platform contract tracing feature.

Apple and Google on April 10 announced a partnership that will see the two companies developing a Bluetooth-based smartphone tracking solution to allow governments and health agencies to reduce the spread of the coronavirus while also protecting user privacy.

The solution will take advantage of a decentralized API that will keep users' data on their smartphones rather than allowing governments to build a centralized contact database. France and the European Union are pushing for data to be sent to a central server that's managed by state health services.

The UK government has run into a similar problem with Apple in the development of its own app for contact tracing as it too wanted to use Bluetooth in the background for tracking purposes.

Apple and Google in May will release APIs that will allow for interoperability between Android and iOS devices using apps from public health authorities, while later in the year, a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform will be made available at the OS level.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

2984839 Avatar
13 months ago
I 100% guarantee that they will use this app for non-COVID related tracking too.

France can shove it.
Score: 73 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Freida Avatar
13 months ago
No way I would allow this to go off my device. If Apple allows this then I’ll block Bluetooth completely or go back to old iOS
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
steve23094 Avatar
13 months ago
Apple and Google should stick to their guns. Loosening the restrictions would result in all sorts of foreseen and unforeseen bad news consequences. The agencies involved know these apps are only effective with extremely wide take up (I read it would need to be 80%). Less privacy likely equals fewer users.

I wouldn’t install it under these circumstances.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MvdM Avatar
13 months ago
After France fined them for $1.28 billion?

https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/16/apple-fined-record-1-2b-in-france-over-anti-competitive-sales-practices/?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAF68BeyHm_822OX4iRPL34KOdkqBjRCYnyXK6waPDACh-JMYU-TePi0OtZu8na9mO5Bu1c9E4emrX_KPSKwV-OZnVz941w71HnQgjk5BYi7YDc2olwnHg1ptw24ZRXWoPMMU-KYzjSB6iR0dcsSnaZ31sAno0ReOL8Dc_qjY_Kgz
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
entropys Avatar
13 months ago

I could see this if, Apple kept all the data on Apple servers and Apple had control of the server side code. I might trust France with this information. I would never trust the current United States.
Really, as a well travelled citizen of another country than either, I would trust the USA much more than France. But that says nothing.
A better default position would be to not ever trust Big Government. They are a necessary evil, but it must always be remembered that all types of governments are always led by power hungry sociopaths and narcissists. Communist, fascist, republic or parliamentary democracy, the same types infest them. The only difference is how much power they have over you, Joe Citizen, allowed by Joe and his mates.

You should never willingly give authorities the power to know who you have met with, where you have gathered, where you have been, what you think. But I spent months behind the old Iron Curtain in the eighties and have seen where power of the State can lead (And that was after the jackboot pressure on citizens’ necks was partially lifted).

Let the current lock down measures work through, and lift them as soon as practicable, and not a moment later. And don’t let the politicians use this as an excuse to expand their power over you.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2984839 Avatar
13 months ago

I could see this if, Apple kept all the data on Apple servers and Apple had control of the server side code. I might trust France with this information. I would never trust the current United States.
Controlled by Apple means it is one secretly issued National Security Letter away from being controlled by the US government. Nobody should have it.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
apple music for artists new icon

Apple's Revamped Apple Music for Artists Icon Leads to Speculation About iOS 15 Design Plans

Tuesday April 6, 2021 1:03 pm PDT by
Apple yesterday updated its Apple Music for Artists app with some minor bug fixes and improvements, but also one other notable change -- a new icon. New icon on the right The Apple Music for Artists app now features a simpler, streamlined icon with a pinkish red music logo rather than the multicolored logo that was used before. The icon also has an embossed look that makes it stand out from...
apple find my network

Apple Announces Find My Network With Support for Third-Party Devices

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced the launch of its Find My network accessory program, which is designed to allow third-party Bluetooth devices to be tracked in the Find My app right alongside your Apple devices. According to Apple, the first accessory companies to take advantage of the new Find My integration include Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof, with devices set to be available beginning next week. ...
new m1 chip

M1 Mac RAM and SSD Upgrades Found to Be Possible After Purchase

Tuesday April 6, 2021 5:34 am PDT by
Technicians in China have reportedly succeeded in upgrading the memory and storage of the M1 chip, suggesting that Apple's integrated custom silicon for the Mac may be more flexible than previously thought. Reports of maintenance technicians being able to expand the memory and storage of M1 Macs began circulating on Chinese social media over the weekend, but now international reports have...
Intel MBP Is Thin and Lighjt

Intel Ad for 'World's Best Processor' Features a MacBook Pro

Wednesday April 7, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Intel has been on a relentless marketing drive against Mac computers in recent weeks, positioning them as inferior to Windows laptops powered by Intel processors. In a slight slip-up, however, Intel has accidentally used a MacBook instead of a Windows laptop in one of its newest ads to promote one of its new 11th-generation chips as "the world's best processor." The ad appeared on Reddit and ...
tmobile 5g modem

T-Mobile Launches Unlimited 5G Home Internet for $60/Month

Wednesday April 7, 2021 2:18 pm PDT by
T-Mobile today hosted an Un-carrier event where the company announced the launch of a a new 5G home internet plan, which is priced at $60 per month and offers unlimited data. The service is available to more than 30 million Americans across much of the United States, including 10 million households in rural areas not typically able to access reliable broadband. Connectivity will be either 4G ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
14

Apple Seeds Seventh Betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the seventh betas of upcoming iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta updates coming one week after Apple released the sixth iOS and iPadOS 14.5 betas. iOS and iPadOS 14.5 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. iOS 14.5 is the...
ipad pro and macbook pro

iPad and MacBook Production Reportedly Delayed Due to Global Chip Shortage

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:31 am PDT by
Apple is facing a global shortage of certain components for some of its MacBook and iPad models, causing the Cupertino tech giant and its suppliers to postpone production of the products, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. According to the report, MacBook production is being hindered due to the shortage of chips mounted onto the circuit board before final assembly, which is a key...