France releases Euro 2016 terrorist attack alert app

9 Jun 2016

Amid heightened security concerns, the European Championships kick off tomorrow in Paris. And, ahead of that, the French government has developed an app to alert people in the country about terrorist attacks.

The country is so conscious of the potential of terrorist attacks taking place on French soil during Euro 2016 that the country’s interior ministry has revealed SAIP (iOS, Android), an app to warn those in the country of any incidents.

Users in eight specific locations will be warned of threats, however, to provide a bit of privacy in case of particularly threatening situations, the app will not vibrate or make a sound.

Future Human

Instead, a visual warning will appear on the device, alerting users to things like incidents involving terrorists, nuclear sites, dam failures or other hazardous situations.

SAIP is very straightforward to set up on your smartphone

SAIP is very straightforward to set up on your smartphone

Users will be able to sign up to receive alerts in up to eight different geographical zones – as well as their present location.

However, for visitors to France, I cannot see how this will work unless you have roaming data turned on on your phone, which is not something many of us do when abroad.

SAIP – which stands for ‘alert system to inform populations’ – is run by the interior ministry and sends advice on how to act in the event of a crisis.

The government has said that users’ privacy will be protected. No names, phone numbers or IP addresses will be stored. Later versions of the app will alert users to other emergencies such as floods and avalanches.

The advice will be generated depending on the crisis at hand

The advice will be generated depending on the crisis at hand

There have already been a few updates to the app, and it was only created on 8 June, so it’s something they are taking very seriously.

There’s a lot going on in terms of security management for Euro 2016. Those looking to fly drones in Paris, Bordeaux, Lille and other French cities hosting Irish games, for example, should probably think again.

UEFA’s chief of security for Euro 2016, Ziad Khoury, has said there will be strict security at stadiums, including the deployment of anti-drone technology.

We’ve previously listed a selection of apps to probably think about downloading if you’re heading over to Euro 2016. SAIP looks like being one you should probably add to that list.

Euro 2016 image via katatonia82/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic