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
19 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
19 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)
steve62388 Avatar
19 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
19 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
19 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
19 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

iCloud General Feature

iCloud+'s New Custom Email Domain Feature Now Available in Beta

Wednesday August 25, 2021 7:48 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, users with a paid iCloud+ storage plan can personalize their iCloud email address with a custom domain name, such as johnny@appleseed.com, and the feature is now available in beta. iCloud+ subscribers interested in setting up a custom email domain can visit the beta.icloud.com website, select "Account Settings" under their name, and select ...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last October in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12...
maxresdefault

'Being James Bond' Retrospective Will Be Free to Watch Through Apple TV App

Tuesday August 31, 2021 8:25 am PDT by
Update 9/7/21: "Being James Bond" is now available to watch through the Apple TV app. Ahead of the theatrical release of James Bond film "No Time To Die" on October 8 in the United States, a 45-minute retrospective titled "Being James Bond" will be available to watch for free through the Apple TV app, according to Deadline. The story from MGM is said to feature Daniel Craig reflecting ...
maxresdefault

New MacBook Pro Models Coming at WWDC, Suggests Leaker

Monday May 24, 2021 1:27 pm PDT by
New MacBook Pro models are coming at WWDC, according to leaker Jon Prosser who has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Prosser provided no additional information, but there are new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in the works. The new MacBook Pros will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook Pro ...
calculatorapp

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...