Governments are betting on coronavirus tracking apps to help ease lockdown restrictions. Too bad the techies developing these tools have turned on one another.
At first glance, the spat seems charmingly geeky — developers who favor so-called decentralized design for the apps, with data stored on devices, disagree with other developers who back a centralized design where data gets stored on the cloud.
But for those involved, the choice is ultra-serious and has far-reaching consequences for privacy and Europe’s technological independence.
It’s already prompted a series of defections from a high-profile German-led project, and comes at an inconvenient time for governments — just as they are agonizing over which apps to choose to help them out of their lockdowns.