France is pressing Apple to let its forthcoming coronavirus contract-tracing app work in the background on iPhones without building in the privacy measures the US company wants.
The country’s digital minister confirmed the request in an interview given to Bloomberg.
France’s system would let it glean more information about participating smartphone owners than Apple and its partner Google want to allow.
Privacy experts view it as a test case.
“Apple has no reason to agree to this demand and it would open the door to many other requests from other countries and entities,” Prof Olivier Blazy from the country’s University of Limoges, told BBC News.
“As a Frenchman, I think it would be useful to avoid being dependent on the Google-Apple solution but I think it’s strange that the government strategy relies on trying to convince Apple to do something that is against its interest, with no incentive to do so.”
Apple and Google announced on 10 April they were working together to provide a software building-block – known as an application programming interface (API) – that will let authorised Covid-19 contact-tracing apps work more efficiently.
Contact-tracing apps work by logging every time two or more users are close to each other for a substantial period of time.
If one device owner is subsequently diagnosed as being likely to have the virus, an alert can be sent to those they could have infected, who might be asked to self-isolate.
By using such an app in conjunction with other measures, it would in theory be possible to end wider lockdowns and still suppress the disease, so long as enough people take part.
Apple and Google’s method relies on using Bluetooth signals to detect matches.
But they have deliberately designed it so neither they nor the apps’ creators can see who has been given a warning.
The companies have said this is to guarantee “strong protections around user privacy”, which in turn should encourage adoption.
By contrast, Inria – the French institute developing its StopCovid app – has developed a system of its own, called Robert (robust and privacy-preserving proximity tracing protocol).
It published details about it on Sunday on the code-sharing site Github.
And although the French government has promised adoption of the app will be voluntary and involve anonymised data, the document reveals there would be ways to “re-identify users or to infer their contact graphs” if desired.
“It’s a misnomer to call it a privacy-preserving protocol,” said University of Oxford computer scientist Prof Max van Kleek, who prefers the Apple-Google design.
“It does preserve privacy between users but not between the user and the government.
“And that leads to the risk that the government later repurposes the system to make sure that people obey a quarantine or other kinds of things the state might want to know.”
The problem for Inria – and other countries developing their own contact-tracing apps – is Apple currently will not allow Bluetooth-based track-and-tracing to be carried out in the background.
So to work, the apps would have to remain active and on screen, limiting what else owners could do with their handsets and taking an extra toll on battery life.
The developers of Singapore’s TraceTogether app attempted to get round this problem by offering a Power Save mode, which dims the display.
But users have still complained of being unable to make calls or use other apps at the same time and having accidentally bumped the app into the background when their handset was in their pocket.
And this has discouraged people from using it.
“We’re asking Apple to lift the technical hurdle to allow us to develop a sovereign European health solution that will be tied to our health system,” France’s Digital Minister, Cedric O, told Bloomberg.
A spokesman for Apple referred BBC News to its earlier comments about privacy.
NHSX – which is testing an app of its own for the UK – faces a similar quandary and remains in discussions with Apple and Google about the matter.
“Apple and Google have a vested interest in protecting the privacy of their end-users,” Prof Van Kleek said.
“That’s not just from governments but also from potentially malicious adversaries.
“If you collect sensitive data, then it becomes more likely that that data will be leaked at some point, so from a cyber-security perspective there’s lots of good reasons not to do so.”
French lawmakers will vote on whether to proceed with the app, after the country’s government backed down from an original plan to let MPs only debate but not decide the measure.
Assuming they support the initiative, Mr O has said he hopes to launch the tool on 11 May.
Poll: Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics Is Out Today On Switch, Are You Getting It? – Nintendo Life
Today sees the latest Nintendo-published title, Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics (or 51 Worldwide Games as it’s known in Europe) launching on Switch, so we thought it’d be nice to see just how many of you lovely lot are thinking of picking it up.
As you may be aware, the game is actually a successor to Clubhouse Games (known as 42 All-Time Classics in Europe) on Nintendo DS. This new entry includes 51 games, obviously, as well as a piano for some reason, all of which are listed below.
In our review, we highlighted the fact that the new game contains such a wide enough variety of board, card and action games that you’re sure to find a number that will appeal to you. The presentation is perhaps the icing on the cake, too, going well above and beyond what you’d usually see in what is essentially a minigame compilation-style release.
So, over to you. Are you planning on buying Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics?
If you haven’t yet ordered your copy, you can grab a physical version of the game below. Feel free to expand upon your answer in the comments!
Please note that some links on this page are affiliate links, which means if you click them and make a purchase we may receive a small percentage of the sale. Please read our FTC Disclosure for more information.
iPhone 13 design kills the notch and adds USB-C — but don't get too excited – Tom's Guide
A iPhone 13 prototype has supposedly been leaked. But while this 5.5-inch device looks interesting, one prominent leaker has already slapped down the report’s accuracy.
The original source is MacOtakara, which published a story about some alleged iPhone 13 3D printed mockups, which allegedly shows what a 2021 iPhone could look like. It’s this story that leaker Jon Prosser responded to on Twitter with the fantastically blunt answer: “lol no.”
MacOtakara claims that the designs for these 3D prints came from a source at online retailer Alibaba. This particular model has a 5.5-inch display, and is supposedly the successor to this year’s smallest iPhone 12 model, which measures 5.4 inches according to leaks.
lol no https://t.co/qXXG2ROhRpJune 5, 2020
The clearest change here is that there is no longer a front camera notch, which has been present from the iPhone X to the iPhone 11, and is likely coming to the iPhone 12, too. MacOtakara suggests that there will be an under-display selfie camera instead, as well as potentially a camera at the bottom of the screen.
We know under-display cameras are on their way, with Samsung, Oppo and Xiaomi all looking into the technology for their 2021 phones. But we’d be surprised if Apple immediately adopted this new tech as well.
If Apple was to move its cameras beneath the display, it would have to factor in how it would affect Face ID. The infrared sensor could be located in the bottom camera previously mentioned, or Apple could decide to go for an under-display fingerprint scanner like many of its rivals. But we definitely don’t see Apple abandoning Face ID.
A shot of the mockup phone’s bottom shows that the Lightning connector has been swapped for a more standard USB-C one. This is in contradiction to other rumors that have claimed that one iPhone 13 will be Apple’s first portless phone, with the company looking to avoid using USB-C on iPhones.
The back of the phone shows a very odd camera bump with five tiny holes. MacOtakara explained that this is likely a modular system to help designers test multiple camera designs more easily. Rumors for the iPhone 13’s camera array seem to be split between whether it will have four cameras – like the iPhone 12 Pro is expected to have – or if Apple will try and add more sensors outside of the main square patch.
MacOtakara did say that this is only a prototype model and therefore could be very different from the real iPhone 13, if it does indeed exist. However, the fact this prototype differs so widely from other leaks we’ve heard makes it hard to believe.
It’s still over a year until we’ll likely see the iPhone 13 debut in fall 2021. However the iPhone 12 is expected to be revealed around September or October this year.
We know a lot more about the iPhone 12 than next year’s model, including its four different models, 5G connectivity, OLED displays (with 120Hz refresh rates on the Pro models), new A14 chipsets and camera arrangements – two rear cameras on the iPhone 12 and 12 Max, and four on the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, including a LiDAR sensor like the one seen on the iPad Pro 2020.
Highlights of the day: YMTC said to enter SSD brand business – Digitimes
Highlights of the day: YMTC said to enter SSD brand business
Friday 5 June 2020
China-based NAND flash maker YMTC reportedly is looking to cross into brand SSD business in the third quarter and will focus on supplying the devices to PC makers. Meanwhile, Apple’s new iPhones using OLED panels for 2021 may adopt LTPO backplane in order to reduce their power consumption. With Huawei under the US’ new sanctions, Taiwan’s IC substrate makers have begun turning to strife for more orders from other clients particularly those in the US.
YMTC may unveil own-brand SSDs in 3Q20: China-based Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC) reportedly will in third-quarter 2020 launch its own-brand SSDs adopting in-house-developed 64-layer 3D NAND flash, with target outlets including PC OEMs, according to industry sources.
OLED screens of iPhones may adopt LTPO backplanes in 2021, say sources: Apple has yet to introduce its 5G iPhones for 2020, but its supply chain is already developing OLED screens using LTPO (low temperature polycrystalline oxide) backplane technology for next year’s premium iPhone models, according industry sources.
IC substrate makers shifting focus to US clients from Huawei: Taiwan-based IC substrate makers including Unimicron Technology and Na Ya PCB are gearing up to strengthen business ties with US clients seeking to offset expected losses of orders from China’s Huawei/Hisilicon subject to tougher US trade sanctions starting September, according to industry sources.
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