Europe publishes draft rules for coronavirus contact-tracing app development
The European Commission (EC) has published a document describing how it thinks member nations can best built a contact-tracing smartphone app to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Such apps have been adopted by Singapore and India. The UK, USA and Australia have all suggested they’ll soon follow suit.
Apple and Google have weighed in, saying they’ll tune their mobile operating systems to help the apps operate, a crucial step as current apps use Bluetooth yet smartphones don’t allow the wireless protocol to operate constantly. The apps are controversial as their explicit purpose is collecting data about users and then sharing it. But they’re also seen as a tool that will make it possible to loosen lockdowns because, by tracing encounters that lead to infections, they have the potential to make it possible to understand who needs to be in isolation and who can roam more freely.
Enter the EC with a 44-page guide to what such apps should do, how they should do it and when they might be deployed.