Bloomberg reports that France is asking Apple to remove a technical obstacle in iOS that it says is delaying a government contract-tracking app designed to contain the COVID-19 spread.
The operating system prevents such apps that use its Bluetooth tech from running constantly in the background if that data is going to be moved off the device. The limit is designed to protect user privacy.
Digital Minster Cedric O told Bloomberg that the limitation is standing in the way of the type of app that France wants to build. The government hopes to deploy its app on May 11.
“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 told Bloomberg. “Ministers have discussed their concerns with Apple, but aren’t making progress.”
When asked by Bloomberg, Apple pointed to its original joint statement with Google, where it explained that new application programming interfaces [APIs] will be available next month to enable contact-tracing in third-party apps. Apparently, the French government doesn’t want to use the contact-tracking tech that Apple is jointly developing with Google.