EU introduces app to integrate continent-wide contact tracing

Since the EC has already committed to the decentralized model dictated by the Apple/Google platform, it is assumed that these ‘backend servers’ are anonymized and don’t permit access by any state institutions.

EU introduces app to integrate continent-wide contact tracing
EU introduces app to integrate continent-wide contact tracing

EU introduces app to integrate continent-wide contact tracing

The European Commission will be setting up an interoperability gateway service for contact tracing apps. Initially, the test runs will start between the backend servers of the official apps from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Latvia, and a newly established gateway server.

Since the EC has already committed to the decentralized model dictated by the Apple/Google platform, it is assumed that these ‘backend servers’ are anonymized and don’t permit access by any state institutions. The main point of this initiative is to prevent the need to install a new contact tracing app when the user crosses borders.

Telecoms.com quoted Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety as saying that coronavirus tracing and warning apps working across borders can be powerful tools in their efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

She added that with cases on the rise again, apps can complement other measures like increased testing and manual contact tracing and if used widely enough, they can even assist in breaking the chains of transmission.

While going down the decentralized route removes one of the biggest reasons to be nervous about installing a contact tracing app, people still have to use it voluntarily. Furthermore, even if they do use it, and get an alert that they’ve come into contact with someone who might have the plague, they still have to voluntarily quarantine themselves.

Since many people haven’t been able to work for half a year, a good proportion of them are likely to be very reluctant to extend their purgatory. Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Single Market said that many Member States have implemented national contact tracing and warning applications. It is now time to make them interact with each other.

He added that travel and personal exchange are the core of the European project and the Single Market. Thus, the gateway will facilitate this in these times of pandemic and will certainly save lives.