StopCovid project developing mobile contact tracing app for France


Inria, ANSSI, Capgemini, Dassault Systèmes, Inserm, Lunabee Studio, Orange, Santé Publique France and Withings create the StopCovid project team in order to structure and strengthen their contribution to the government project to set up a mobile contact tracing pplication (StopCovid).

The purpose of this project is to provide the French health authorities with a complementary digital tool to help manage the sanitary emergency against Covid19.

The French government has entrusted Inria with the operational management of the research and development project called “StopCovid”, which brings together the expertise of national players, both public and private, within the StopCovid project team.

All these players are contributing to the work already under way to provide all French citizens with a tool to better protect them against Covid19.

Sharing the guidelines set by the Government, the project is based on five foundations:

The use of the StopCovid app as part of the global strategy for managing the health crisis and epidemiological monitoring. StopCovid project is an additional brick that provides public health actors with a decision-making support for the deconfinement phase.

Strict compliance with the data protection and privacy framework at national and European level, as defined in particular by French law and the RGPD, as well as the toolbox recently defined by the European Commission on proximity monitoring applications.

Transparency, which notably involves the dissemination, under an open source license, of the specific work carried out within the framework of the project. This is in order to provide all the guarantees in terms of controls by society: transparency of algorithms, open code, interoperability, auditability, security and reversibility of the solutions. Thus, this solution could offer basic building blocks that can be used by all countries that wish to use them.

Respect for the principles of digital sovereignty of the public health system: control of health choices by French and European society, protection and structuring of health data assets to guide the response to the epidemic and accelerate medical research.
The temporary nature of the project, whose lifespan will correspond, if deployed, to the duration of the management of the Covid-19 epidemic.

The project is conducted under the supervision of the State and gives rise to regular interactions with independent control authorities, notably the CNIL (Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés – French Data Protection Authority). It also involves DINUM (inter-ministerial directorate for digital).

The project, in its prototype construction phase, involves public and private organisations acting on a pro bono basis, as part of the StopCovid project team.

At European level, the project is also being carried out in close cooperation with national teams developing comparable applications in Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and Norway, based on comparable approaches and ensuring interoperability.

Within the project, coordinated by Inria, the members of the StopCovid project team are involved in their field of expertise:
Inria: coordination and transmission protocol, privacy-by-design;
ANSSI: cybersecurity;

Capgemini: back-end architecture and development;
Dassault Systèmes: SecNumCloud qualified sovereign data infrastructure;
Inserm: health models;
Lunabee Studio: development of mobile applications;
Orange: application distribution and interoperability;
Santé Publique France: integration and coordination of the application in the global strategy of contact tracing;
Withings: connected objects.

Alongside them, the entire ecosystem of research, innovation and companies is mobilized through the “ecosystem of StopCovid contributors”. Open, it brings together organizations or individuals who have shown their willingness to participate in the project, either through spontaneous contributions or in response to requests, whether through participation in technical expert groups, think tanks, provision of open source code, sharing of feedback on comparable solutions, or participation in field experiments.

Inria, Bruno Sportisse, CEO, says, “Inria has taken responsibility for the StopCovid project. In these exceptional times for our Nation, France can count on its ecosystem of research, innovation and companies to carry out projects at the crossroads of the necessary effectiveness of health policies, respect for individual freedoms and the maintenance or even strengthening of our technological and digital sovereignty.”

ANSSI, Guillaume Poupard, MD, said, “Given the reality of the current cyber threats, securing the application is critical to ensure its reliability and trust that healthcare professionals in charge of managing the health crisis as well as users will place in it. In order to anticipate the cyber risk, ANSSI is suporting Inria with its technical expertise on the cybersecurity aspect of the project.”

Capgemini Group, Paul Hermelin, Chairman and CEO, explained, “The Stop Covid project will benefit from Capgemini wealth of expertise in technology and all of our experience in the health domain. As with all of our endeavors deployed globally to fight the Covid outbreak, I am proud and humbled by the pro-bono involvement of so many of our colleagues who are striving to protect our fellow citizens.”

Dassault Systèmes, Bernard Charlès, Vice-Chairman of the Board and CEO, said, “In order to provide a digital solution that respects personal data, Dassault Systèmes and its 3DS Outscale cloud, certified by ANSSI, form a foundation of trust. With this, Europe and France can process the necessary data in a sovereign environment. Health data is an asset that must be protected and used for the common good in the context of the choices made by our society.”

Inserm, Dr Gilles Bloch, CEO, said, “Inserm is participating in the development of this digital tool which will be a complement to the other elements necessary for a successful end of lock down (in particular the respect of hand hygiene and physical distancing): the digital tool will identify possible cases of Sars-cov infection, in order to be able to isolate them as quickly as possible, and help reduce the spread of the virus. It is therefore necessary to be able to go back to the chain of contacts of an infected person and identify any other people. This identification, in compliance with privacy and regulations, is all the more important as some contagious people ignore being infected. ”

Lunabee Studio, Thomas Jaussoin, CEO, says, “At Lunabee Studio, our DNA is to create quality and impactful mobile applications. From the beginning of this health crisis, we’ve been working days and nights on the StopCovid apps. Today, we feel proud to be part of this team in order to help ending the lockdown.”

Orange, Stéphane Richard, Chairman & CEO, explained, “As a major innovator in the digital sector, Orange is extremely proud to participate in the creation of a project-team made up of large industrial players, start-ups and public research institutions, and to contribute to the national and European effort to prevent the further propagation of the Covid-19 virus. This association of experts will help support healthcare professionals and public services by developing a mobile app, which takes full account of the need to protect individual liberties, that is designed to break the chain of contamination as restrictions are lifted. Orange will contribute its know-how in the security of networks and digital systems, its expertise in the mobile telecommunications ecosystem as well as its close relationship with healthcare institutions in order to help reach these ambitions targets.”

Santé Publique France, Geneviève Chêne, CEO, says, “Reactive contact tracing combined with a large-scale case detection strategy is essential at the time of progressive lifting of containment to prevent the creation of new chains of transmission. The StopCovid application will make it possible to detect and inform at-risk contact persons who cannot be identified by conventional contact tracing methods, while respecting their privacy. It also makes it possible to provide contact-persons in a short period of time with the recommendations to be followed.”

Withings, Eric Carreel, CEO, said, “We are convinced that a broad mobilization of both private and public stakeholders will help the fight against Covid19. We truly hope that our experience in connected devices will bring value to this collective work, specifically to guarantee a service accessible to the greatest number of people.”

Thalès, Patrice Caine, CEO, explained, “The current crisis has raised awareness of the importance of digital technology in our societies. Digital tools already enable many French people to work, ease their daily life and maintain social links; they can also help in the fight against the spread of the epidemic. When they are useful to society, it is Thales’ mission to make these tools reliable, secure and protective of our individual freedoms: trust is at the heart of our raison d’être”.