COMM: Cov19 On My Mobile

Uses and non-uses of public mobile solutions developed for the Covid 19

University research in collaboration with the universities of Denver-Colorado (USA) and Kyoto (Japan)

WP1, Cross Disciplinary Project RISK, Université Grenoble Alpes (
Pacte Laboratory, Grenoble Alpes University


In many Western countries, innovations based on mobile technology are spreading as solutions to better manage risks at the citizen level. In a context where the notion of resilience is embodied in the idea that the State can no longer provide responses to crises alone, equipping citizens with targeted information tools and tracking technologies appears as an alternative or a complement to traditional risk management policies.

This research project consists of an international comparative survey on public solutions based on cell phones (SMS, applications) to fight against the covid pandemic19. This research is done in collaboration with researchers from the Universities of Denver (Colorado) and Kyoto. The international comparison and the longitudinal follow-up (November to June at least) should allow us to observe a possible evolution of the practices related to these solutions according to the governmental policies and the evolution of the pandemic. Our research question can be summarized as follows: Are these technologies capable of supporting the resilience of individuals? To what extent and in what sense does equipping individuals with these digital solutions contribute to risk management?

Our hypothesis is that the adoption of such technology depends on 4 factors:

- the characteristics of the technical object determined during the design process (actors, involved, technical paths, territorial coverage, political and health objectives, internal controversies) and during development (data supply, maintenance, updates);

-the pandemic evolution (number of cases, incidence rate,...);

- governmental and local decisions;

- and finally the non-use and multiple use, confused or bypassed, linked to trust issues (political and ethical issues but also previous experiences with this type of tool) and to the insertion of the object in ordinary and daily practices (travel, individual protection practices).



 The research includes for the moment three parts of investigation :

- a mapping of existing solutions in the world: technical characteristics, objectives, functionalities, territorial scale, developer, owner and manager (public and private share)

- a socio-technical analysis (based on a qualitative methodology) of the design process and the actual operating modes of the solutions (organizational chains of information production, coordination between actors, management problems, maintenance and evolution of the system).

- an online questionnaire launched in the three countries on the uses and non-uses (the questions are different in the countries but the themes are identical). The topics covered are: use and non-use (reasons, technical difficulties); travel practices and management of the certificate (for France); misuse of the tool; practices related to health information; practices related to tracing; impacts of the applications on covid19 protection; and the current situation of the respondent (objective data).

The questionnaire survey is anonymous. In France, it is carried out in five waves of data collection linked to the evolution of sanitary measures: in November, December, January, March and May.


This research program is independent

Participant.e.s du laboratoire: 

Céline Cholez, Associate Professor, Pacte, CDP @Risk, Université de Grenoble-Alpes, Grenoble-INP Génie Industriel

External participants: 

Hamilton Bean de l’université de Denver-Colorado (USA) et et Mika Shimizu de l’université de Kyoto (Japon)

About the project leader :

cholezc's picture Celine Cholez

Mes travaux de recherche s’inscrivent dans le domaine de la sociologie de l’activité et des techniques et visent à établir, à partir d’une perspective ethnographique multi-située, la manière dont... plus