New YorkNorway and Germany fought to launch their contact tracing programs from scratch. In New York, an army of 3,000 contact trackers struggled to gather information from a reluctant population. In Norway, objections from the data privacy watchdog combined with low usage have led the project to be largely abandoned.
In the US and Europe, contact tracking applications were controversial, as many claimed that these government-supported tracking applications violate the rights of people by collecting location data, and do little to detect early infections, because infections involving accidental random encounters with asymptomatic patients relatively rare.
French health officials are now facing a similar problem, as the new phone app for tracking coronavirus cases only warned 14 people that they had been at risk of infection since its launch three weeks ago, according to the French Minister of Digital Affairs, while nearly half a million users decided uninstall the application.
Here’s how it works: StopCovid keeps track of users who have been in close proximity to each other for a two-week period. In case of infection, they inform the platform, which warns others.
French officials defended the application as a vital tool to slow the spread of COVID-19, although critics expressed concern about data privacy.
Since the launch, 68 people have informed the platform that they are infected, and only 14 users have been warned that they are now in danger.
However, government ministers defended the application, saying that its uselessness was due to the fact that the outbreak in France basically stopped. Already 460,000 users have uninstalled the app, leaving only 1.5 million users across the country with a population of about 67 million.
The government will pay between $ 91,000 and $ 136,000 per month for application-related costs, such as hosting and development, although these costs may increase with another jump.
Britain abandoned its own plan for a contact tracking application a few months ago, when serious flaws appeared in testing that caused a public outcry.