More than 851,000 people worldwide have contracted Covid-19 with 42,053 dying from it, according to a Reuters tally on Wednesday. Italy has been hardest hit, with 12,428 fatalities.
Hence, European scientists and technologists will launch a joint initiative on April 1 to support the use of digital applications in the fight against coronavirus while complying with the region’s tough privacy laws.
That is an approach behind the TraceTogether app launched by Singapore to support its so-far successful public health response to coronavirus that has kept Covid-19 infections in the hundreds.
The following is a video illustrate how TraceTogether app works:
“Our goal is to provide a backbone for the digital core components of the global fight against Covid-19,” said Hans-Christian Boos, founder of business automation company Arago and a member of a digital advisory council to the German government.
“The PEPP-PT platform others can build on includes an anonymous and privacy-preserving digital proximity tracing approach, which is in full compliance with GDPR and can also be used when traveling between countries.”
The GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, is the European Union’s privacy rulebook that sets strict limits on the processing of personal data, making it difficult, for example, to use smartphone location data to fight Covid-19.
A more promising route is to track connections made between people’s smartphones using Bluetooth, a communications technology where ‘handshakes’ between devices can be logged and used to alert those who have come into close proximity with someone who tests positive.