Tech & Rights

COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps in the EU

Knowledge Hub

by LibertiesEU
Country Reports | Data Protection Authorities | Policy Bodies | Courts | Legal Acts

Many governments in the EU have deployed COVID-19 contact tracing apps to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We built this Knowledge Hub to monitor and understand the impact of these applications on our rights. We want to support researchers, litigators, and journalists with all the relevant information about the COVID-19 tracing apps created by each EU member state as a possible technological solution to limit the spread of the virus.

You can find Liberties' detailed research here.

On this Knowledge Hub you will navigate through the following menu items:

  • Country Reports: Short descriptions of COVID-19 apps developed by each of the EU member states.
  • Data Protection Authorities: Relevant decisions and recommendations of national Data Protection Authorities and the European Data Protection Authorities.
  • Policy Bodies: Decisions and recommendations of international policy-making bodies.
  • Courts: Court rulings related to the development or usage of COVID-19 tracing applications.
  • Legal Acts: Specific laws that were introduced to regulate the COVID-19 apps in national member states.

Visit full table

Last updated on 15 April 2021

Austria l Belgium | Bulgaria | Croatia | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | England & Wales | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Hungary | Ireland | Italy | Lithuania | Malta | Netherlands | Poland | Portugal | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden


Austria

Population: 8.9 million
Downloads: 1.4 million (16% of the population, February 2021)
Active users: ½ - ⅔ (October 2020)
Name of the app: Stopp Corona
Launch of the app: 25 March 2020

The government delegated to the Austrian Red Cross (ÖRK) the project of creating a contact tracing app. ÖRK commissioned the private consulting firm Accenture with the development of the app. The project was financed by the UNIQA Foundation, which donated two million euros. The Austrian Data Protection Authority (DSB) was involved in the development of the app throughout the whole process. The Stopp Corona app was available to download from 25 March 2020. It is based on the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system and works via Bluetooth. The ÖRK serves as the data controller. It conducted and published a data protection impact assessment. As of February 2021, the app was downloaded almost one and a half million times. Many citizens are reluctant to download the app because of privacy concerns and doubts about the app’s efficacy. Distrust increased when Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka invoked the possibility of making the app mandatory. Click here for more


Belgium

Population: 11.5 million
Downloads: 2.3 million (January 2021)
Active users: ca. 1.2 - 1.3 million (20% of the population, February 2021)
Name of the app: Coronalert
Launch of the app: 30 September 2020

In April 2020, the government hired thousands of “contact tracers” to manually identify citizens potentially infected with the coronavirus. It created a huge central database managed by the National Public Health Institute (Sciensano), handling sensitive personal data. Civil society organisations and the national data protection authority (APD) strongly criticized the government’s approach. In July, the government announced that it would create a contact tracing app. A royal decree was passed on 1 July 2020 to set the legal basis for the app, including technical specifications, responsibilities and obligations of the developers and control measures, such as regular monitoring and evaluation. It was later replaced by a Cooperation Agreement between the federal state and the federal entities. The government commissioned the development of the app to Devside, a small startup with five employees. The app Coronalert was launched on 30 September 2020. It is based on the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system and works via Bluetooth. Sciensano is the data controller and is responsible for the server infrastructure. In the beginning of January 2021, Coronalert had been downloaded 2.3 million times. The APD has criticized the government for its intransparency and for insufficiently consulting and involving the APD in the development of the app. The Human Rights League (LDH) introduced a complaint against the aforementioned decree, as well as the cooperation agreement to the Constitutional Court. It also started a civil procedure to obtain an injunction from the tribunal forbidding Sciensano the collection and treatment of personal data. Click here for more


Bulgaria

Population: 7 million
Downloads: 63,577 (0.8% of the population, September 2020)
Active users: Not available
Name of the app: ViruSafe
Launch of the app: 7 April 2020

On 4 April 2020, the government presented the digital tracing and symptom reporting app ViruSafe. It was developed by the IT company ScaleFocus for one symbolic Bulgarian Lev. By 18 September 2020, ViruSafe was downloaded a little over 63,000 times. The app uses GPS location data, enabled voluntarily by users, to create heat maps with potentially infected people. Upon installation, users must enter a set of personal data, including their age or possible chronic diseases. The data is collected and stored in a central database, accessible by the Ministry of Health and authorized government institutions. Concerns have arisen over the permission given by the users through accepting terms of use (item 31) that the Ministry is allowed to share personal data with “competent authorities''. The vague wording makes it possible for a wide range of authorities to get access to users’ personal information. The national data protection authority has not been involved in the development or assessment of the data protection compliance of the app. The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC) asked the Ministry of Health to present the data protection impact assessment but the request was denied. The BHC appealed the decision to deny the request before the Administrative Court Sofia City. Click here for more


Croatia

Population: 4.1 million
Downloads: 83,191 (2% of the population, February 2021)
Active users: Not available
Name of the app: Stop COVID-19
Launch of the app: 27 July 2020

On 27 July 2020, the Croatian government presented the contact tracing app Stop COVID-19. The app was developed by the Croatian company APIS IT. The user interface was provided free of charge by the company Bornfight. Stop COVID-19 is based on the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system and uses Bluetooth technology. The app does not require any registration or sharing of personal data. The user’s consent is required for the processing of personal data. The Ministry of Health is the data controller and is responsible for data processing. By February only 83,191 people had downloaded Stop COVID-19. Of more than 7,000 codes issued by healthcare professionals, only 56 have been entered into the app. From 19 November 2020, the app is interoperable across borders through the European Federation Gateway Services. The Croatian Agency for the Protection of Personal Data (AZOP) was presented with the app’s functionality and introduced to its technical characteristics and was involved in the data protection impact assessment (DPIA). Click here for more


Cyprus

Population: 0.9 million
Downloads: 8,000 (9% of the population, April 2020)
Active users: Not available
Name of the app: CovTracer / CovTracer EN
Launch of the app: 5 April 2020 / 1 February 2021

Cyprus launched its first contact tracing app (CovTracer) on 5 April 2020. It was developed by the CYENS Centre of Excellence (CYENS CoE) and supported and promoted by the government. CovTracer used Safepaths, a technology developed by MIT, which uses GPS data to trace population movement. At the same time, CYENS CoE was working on a second app together with the KIOS CoE. The app CovTracer EN replaced CovTracer on 1 February 2021. Unlike its predecessor, CovTracer EN is based on the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) protocol and relies on Bluetooth technology. The Department of Epidemiology (DoE) of the Ministry of Health is the data controller. Click here for more


Czech Republic

Population: 10.6 million
Downloads: 1.5 million (14% of the population, February 2021)
Active users: Not available
Name of the app: eRouška
Launch of the app: 20 April 2020

The contact tracing app "eRouška" (Czech for "eMask") is the result of a joint effort by the initiative COVID19CZ, a group of Czech tech companies and IT enthusiasts, under the auspices of the Ministry of Health. The first version of the app was launched on 20 April 2020. The Czech company Keboola, the founders of COVID19CZ, assisted the government with the app on a voluntary basis. The National Agency for Communication and Information Technologies (NAKIT) joined the Ministry of Health to work on a second version, which was launched in August 2020. As of February 2021, the app was downloaded more than one and a half million times. 67,802 individuals who tested positive with the virus notified others through the app and 257,086 users were notified about risky encounters. The app is based on the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system and uses Bluetooth to exchange keys between two devices. The national data protection authority criticized the Ministry of Health for not sufficiently consulting the agency in the development process. It pointed out the Ministry’s failure to provide it with the documents necessary to make a proper risk assessment analysis. Click here for more


Denmark

Population: 5.8 million
Downloads: 2.2 million (38% of the population, February 2021)
Active users: Not available
Name of the app: Smittestop
Launch of the app: 18 June 2020

The contact tracing app “Smittestop” (Danish for “infection stop”) was developed free of charge by the Danish IT services company Netcompany, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Danish Agency for Digitalization. The Ministry of Health created an Advisory Board who provided expertise on security, privacy and choices of technology. The developers also involved the National Cyber Security Council, the Data Ethics Council and the Danish Data Protection Agency. Smittestop was launched on 18 June 2020. As of January 2021, the app was downloaded more than two million times. Results from a survey show that over 87,900 people scheduled tests after having been notified of risky encounters via the app. The app is based on the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system and uses Bluetooth to exchange temporary exposure keys between devices. The Danish Agency for Patient Safety is the data controller. In June 2020, it prepared a data protection impact assessment. Contrary to some other European contact tracing apps, the developers of Smittestop decided not to make the app’s source code publicly available, arguing that it would increase the risk of security breaches. Click here for more


England and Wales

Population: 59.1 million
Downloads: 21.7 million (56% of the eligible population over 16, February 2021)
Active users: 16.5 million (February 2021)
Name of the app: NHS COVID-19 app
Launch of the app: 24 September 2020

The NHSX, the digital healthcare innovation unit of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) started building a contact tracing app in April 2020 with support from VMware Pivotal Labs. The app’s first design followed a centralized data collection structure. It was criticized for its lack of effectiveness, insufficient user uptake, and for possible privacy issues. The government eventually decided to turn to the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system. The official NHS COVID-19 app was launched on 24 September 2020. As of 8 February 2021, the app was downloaded 21.7 million times. The number of active users amounts to 16.5 million and 1.7 million notifications were sent to people advising them to self-isolate. The UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the app’s data controller, conducted a data protection impact assessment, in which it stresses that principles such as privacy by design and default, data minimization, user protection and secure data processing, were fundamental to the app’s design. The UK’s data protection authority (ICO) noted that it was consulted from the start in the development of the contact tracing app. Click here for more


Estonia

Population: 1.3 million
Downloads: 265,093 (20% of the population, February 2021)
Active users: Not available
Name of the app: HOIA
Launch of the app: 20 August 2020

Estonia’s contact tracing app is the product of a public-private partnership between a consortium of 12 Estonian companies and the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Estonian Health Board and the Health and Welfare Information Systems’ Centre (TEHIK). In particular the companies Iglu and Mobi Lab took the lead in the app’s design and development. The app HOIA (Estonian for “to take care”) was launched on 20 August 2020. As of February 2021, the app had been downloaded 261,120 times. HOIA is based on the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) protocol. When two users are within two meters of each other, their devices exchange anonymous keys via Bluetooth. The Estonian Health Board is the data controller. The national data protection authority has given a favorable assessment of the app’s safety, transparency and absence of excessive data processing. Click here for more


Finland

Population: 5.5 million
Downloads: 2.5 million (45% of the population, February 2021)
Active users: 2.3 million (February 2021)
Name of the app: Koronavilkku
Launch of the app: 31 August 2020

Several institutions were involved in the creation of Finland’s contact tracing app. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) provided the information system and acts as data controller. DigiFinland Oy created the interface. The Social Insurance Institution (Kela) ensured the proper functioning of the back-end system. The National Cyber Security Centre was responsible for maintaining the app’s data security. And the company Solita Oy won the tender for the development of the app. On 31 August 2020, after successful testing, the app “Koronavilkku” (Finnish for “CoronaBlinker”) was officially launched. By February 2020, the app was downloaded more than 2.5 million times, making it one of the world’s most downloaded contact tracing apps relative to population size. Koronavilkku is based on the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system and uses Bluetooth to exchange keys between two devices. The app is voluntary and the source code publicly available. The national data protection authority, the Office of the Data Protection Ombudsman, gave a positive assessment, failing to identify significant security risks. The THL assigned Privaon Oy, Finland’s leading privacy and data protection company to carry out a data protection impact assessment. Privaon Oy’s assessment found that the app respects data protection principles. Click here for more


France

Population: 67.2 million
Downloads: 13.5 million (20% of the population, March 2021)
Active users: Not available
Name of the app: TousAntiCovid
Launch of the app: 2 June 2020

On 27 May 2020 the French parliament voted for the deployment of a contact tracing app. To protect its technological sovereignty, the government decided to build its own, centralized architecture instead of the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system used by most other EU countries. Privacy groups have strongly criticized this decision. The first version of France’s contact tracing app, StopCovid, was launched on 2 June 2020. It is the product of a public-private partnership, involving several companies and state officials. By October 2020, it was downloaded 2.6 million times. The app’s unpopularity is considered to be due to privacy concerns and the population’s belief of the pandemic’s imminent end. On 22 October 2020, the government introduced an updated version, renaming it TousAntiCovid (everyone against COVID). The new version contains new information services, but no significant technological changes. The app’s use is voluntary and the source code publicly available. The project is led by the French National Research Institute (INRIA). The server is hosted by the company Outscale. The app relies on Bluetooth technology to exchange ephemeral IDs between two users. The General Health Directorate of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is the data controller. As of March 2021, TousAntiCovid (and StopCovid) was downloaded more than 13.5 million times. Click here for more


Germany

Population: 83 million
Downloads: 25.7 million (31% of the population, February 2021)
Active users: 23 million (January 2021)
Name of the app: Corona-Warn-App
Launch of the app: 16 June 2020

Germany initially favored the Pan-European Privacy Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT) consortium, but did a u-turn and opted for a decentralized approach instead. The Ministry of Health and the federal agency for infectious diseases Robert Koch Institute (RKI) - which now acts as the app’s data controller - entrusted Deutsche Telekom and SAP with developing a contact tracing app, without a public tender. The Federal Ministry of Finance revealed that the costs of the project could amount to more than 69 million euros by the end of 2021. The Coron-Warn-App was launched on 16 June 2020. Within the first 24 hours of its launch, it was downloaded 6.5 million times. The app is based on the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system and uses Bluetooth to log encounters on an anonymous contact diary. Its usage is voluntary and the source code is publicly available. The Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (BfDI) supported the project from the start in an advisory capacity. By 16 April 2021, the Corona-Warn-App was downloaded 27 million times. More than twelve million test results (positive and negative) were shared with the app. Click here for more


Hungary

Population: 9.8 million
Downloads: 75,000 (0.8% of the population, September 2020)
Active users: Not available
Name of the app: Virus Radar
Launch of the app: 13 May 2020

The contact tracing app Virus Radar was launched on 13 May 2020. The technology was given free of charge by the Northern Macedonian software company NextSense. The app is implemented by the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (ITM) with the support of the Hungarian IT company biztributor. It is managed by the Hungarian Government Agency for Development of Informatics (KIFÜ). The National Center for Public Health (NNK) is the data controller. By the end of September 2020, the Virus Radar was downloaded more than 75,000 times. Virus Radar is not based on the Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) protocol, unlike most other EU countries. It uses Bluetooth to exchange ephemeral IDs between two devices and stores them on a central database running on KIFÜ’s servers. The Hungarian data protection authority was not involved in the development of the app. The government did not widely advertise the app, which explains the low uptake and the lack of interest by the media or human rights organizations to follow the developments. Click here for more


Italy

Population: 59.8 million
Downloads: 10.3 million (17% of the population, February 2021)
Active users: Not available
Name of the app: Immuni
Launch of the app: 15 June 2020

In March 2020, the government launched a call for proposals to find digital solutions to stop the spread of the pandemic. It received hundreds of proposals, from which a group of experts, including from the WHO and the Italian data protection authority (Garante) selected the Milan-based startup Bending Spoons. Academics and privacy experts criticized the project for its lack of transparency. The government subsequently published the source code and conducted a data protection impact assessment. On 30 April 2020, the government passed a decree that inter alia set out the rules regarding the adoption of contact tracing apps, including designating the Ministry of Health as the data controller. The contact tracing app Immuni was rolled out on 15 June 2020. As of 14 April 2021 it has been downloaded over 10 million times and almost 17,000 users shared positive test results. In October the public companies SOGEI and PagoPa took over the project from Bending Spoons. Immuni is based on the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system. It uses Bluetooth to exchange encrypted keys between devices. The Garante was involved from the start in discussions about the use of contact tracing apps and supported the government in an advisory capacity. Click here for more


Ireland

Population: 4.9 million
Downloads: 2.4 million (49% of the population, February 2021)
Active users: 1.3 million (February 2021)
Name of the app: COVID Tracker
Launch of the app: 7 July 2020

In March 2020, Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) commissioned hired the Irish tech firm NearForm to develop a contact tracing app. On 7 July 2020 the COVID Tracker app was launched. More than 862,000 people downloaded the app within the first day. By February 2021 the app had about 1.3 million active users and sent close contact alerts to almost 23,000 people. The COVID Tracker app is based on the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system. The app generates random keys, which are exchanged between devices when two users are within two meters from each other. The keys are stored for two weeks on the smartphone’s memory. When a person tests positive with the virus, they can enter a code into the app. Users who have been in contact with the infected person will be notified of the risky exposure. The app also has a symptom checking function. HSE is the data controller. On 26 June 2020, the HSE released the data protection impact assessment and source code. Civil liberties groups have questioned the efficacy of the app. Click here for more


Lithuania

Population: 2.8 million
Downloads: 300,000 (10% of the population, February 2021)
Active users: Not available
Name of the app: Korona Stop
Launch of the app: 6 November 2020

On 7 April 2020, the Lithuanian government introduced the location tracking app Karantinas, designed to monitor the movement of people in mandatory self-isolation. People could voluntarily allow the app to record their isolation location via GPS data. In May 2020, the national data protection authority suspended the app due to possible breaches of European data protection law. In the summer, the government announced that it would purchase a contact tracing app. The National Center for Public Health (NVSC) and the Ministry of Health (SAM) commissioned the companyDizaino Kryptis to adapt the German Corona-Warn-App to Lithuania for an estimated 19,000 EUR. On 6 November 2020, SAM announced the launch of Korona Stop LT. The Ministry of Health is the data controller. As of 11 February 2021, the app was downloaded by around 300,000 people, about 10 percent of the Liuthuanian population. In that time, more than a thousand users reported a positive test result via the app. Korona Stop is based on the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system and uses Bluetooth to exchange temporary exposure keys between two devices. The National Cyber Security Center performed a data protection impact assessment but the document was not published. Click here for more


Malta

Population: 0.5 million
Downloads: 94,215 (19% of the population, February 2021)
Active users: Not available
Name of the app: COVIDAlert
Launch of the app: 18 September 2020

On 18 September 2020, Malta’s national contact tracing app was launched. COVID Alert Malta is run by the government. It was developed by the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Malta Digital Innovation Authority. The app is based on the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) protocol. When two users are within two meters of each other for a period of at least 15 minutes, their devices exchange randomized keys via Bluetooth, which are stored on the smartphones for 14 days. When users upload positive test results, other users who have been in direct proximity are notified of the risky exposure. The Maltese Information and Data Protection Commission (IDPC) carried out a data protection impact assessment prior to the app’s launch. The source code is available on GitHub. The servers are managed by the Superintendent of Public Health and operated by MITA. As of February 2021, the app was downloaded by 94,215 people. By January 2021, 305 people uploaded codes onto the app notifying other users of the potentially risky encounter. Click here for more


Netherlands

Population: 17.3 million
Downloads: 4.5 million (26.2% of the population, February 2021)
Active users: Not available (due to privacy concerns)
Name of the app: CoronaMelder
Launch of the app: 10 October 2020

In April 2020, the government launched a public tender for digital solutions to contain the pandemic. Hundreds of companies presented their products but all failed to meet privacy requirements. The government therefore decided to create its own app. First trials started in July 2020 but a nationwide launch was postponed several times because of privacy concerns. The CoronaMelder app was finally rolled out on 10 October 2020 after the Senate approved a temporary law that set the legal basis for the use of the app. By February 2021, the app was downloaded more than four and a half million times. In the same time, 112,089 people uploaded positive test results, leading 106,126 individuals to get tested, of which 8,182 were tested positive with COVID-19. CoronaMelder is based on the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system. Using Bluetooth, temporary exposure keys are exchanged between users’ devices and stored on the smartphones for 14 days. If a user uploads a positive test result, other users who have been within 1.5 meters for a period of at least 15 minutes are notified about the risky exposure. The Ministry of Health (VWS) is the data controller. Click here for more


Poland

Population: 38 million
Downloads: 1.5 million (4% of the population, November 2020)
Active users: Not available
Name of the app: STOP COVID - ProteGo Safe
Launch of the app: 9 June 2020

In spring 2020, the Polish government announced that it was working on a contact tracing app. It published the source code to allow IT specialists to comment and provide suggestions. After several beta versions were rolled out and then modified, the official app was launched on 9 June 2020. ProteGo Safe is based on the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system. It is the product of a joint effort by several Polish IT companies at the request of the Ministry of Digital Affairs in cooperation with GovTech Polska under the supervision of the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate. The app, which was rebranded STOP COVID, has not enjoyed a large uptake, with less than one and a half million users by November. Another app, Kwarantanna domowa, has raised serious privacy concerns. The mandatory quarantine-enforcement app uses geolocalization and face recognition technology to monitor people in self-isolation. Users have to take daily selfies and upload them onto the app to prove that they are at home. If they fail to do so, the police are notified and can visit users’ homes. Click here for more


Portugal

Population: 10.3 million
Downloads: 2.5 million (25% of the population, January 2021)
Active users: ca. 40% (January 2021)
Name of the app: StayAway COVID
Launch of the app: 1 September 2020

Portugal launched its contact tracing app Stayaway COVID in September 2020. It was developed by the Institute of Computer Systems Engineering, Technology and Science (INESC TEC). The national data protection authority (CNPD) conducted a data protection impact assessment prior to the launch. Based on the CNPD’s recommendations, a legal decree was passed that set out the Directorate-General of Health (DGS) as data controller. The app is based on the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system. It uses Bluetooth to exchange temporary exposure keys between users’ smartphones. The app’s source code is publicly available on GitHub. As the number of infections rose in October, Prime Minister Antonio Costa attempted to make the use of the app mandatory. As a result of mounting pressure and fierce criticism by the CNPD, the government had to backtrack on its proposal. By January 2021, the app was downloaded about 2.5 million times. Click here for more

Slovenia

Population: 2.1 million
Downloads: 372,464 (19% of the population, February 2021)
Active users: Not available
Name of the app: #OstaniZdrav
Launch of the app: 17 August 2020

On 12 July, the government announced a call for tender for the creation of a contact tracing app. Previously, the Parliament voted on a new decree that made the app mandatory for people who tested positive with the virus. Pressure by opposition parties and the national data protection authority (IC) led the government to renounce its plans. However, it did not change the law. The app #OstaniZdrav was launched on 17 August 2020. It was developed by the company RSTEAM and is based on the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system. It uses Bluetooth to exchange encrypted keys between users’ devices. When a user tests positive, they receive a code from the National Institute of Public Health, which they can upload onto the app to alert others of the potentially risky exposure. By 11 February 2021, the app was downloaded more than 370,000 times. In mid-December, the government made the app mandatory for crossing municipal borders, leading to a sharp increase in downloads. However, after fierce public pressure, the government backtracked. The IC was not involved in the app’s development process. It has criticized the government for its lack of transparency and failure to select a data controller. Click here for more


Spain

Population: 46.9 million
Downloads: 7 million (17% of the population, February 2021)
Active users: Not available
Name of the app: Radar COVID
Launch of the app: 6 April 2020

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a series of regional web and mobile apps were introduced throughout the Spanish territory. The multiplication of apps sparked a privacy debate as many violated data subject rights. The federal government tasked the State Secretariat for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence (SEDIA) with developing a national contact tracing app. SEDIA concluded a contract with the company Indra Sistemas SA for about 330,000 EUR under emergency procedures without a tender. After a successful testing phase on the Canary island of La Gomera, Radar COVID was introduced in August 2020 in several of Spain’s autonomous communities. It took until October, however, until the app was used nation-wide, as the communities had to integrate the app into their health system. Civil society, academia and the national data protection authority (AEPD) have criticized the government for its lack of transparency, in particular for its failure to publish a data protection impact assessment and release the source code on time. The AEPD has launched an investigation into possible data protection violations. Radar COVID is based on the decentralized Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) system. It uses Bluetooth to log encounters on an anonymous contact diary. By 11 April 2021, 7.25 million people downloaded the app and 57,861 positives were registered in the app. Click here for more


Sweden

Population: 10.2 million
No contact tracing app

Sweden is one of the few countries in the EU that has not developed a contact tracing app. The Lund University and Uppsala University created the symptom tracking app COVID Symptom Study, to get a better understanding of the epidemic. Users were asked to enter their symptoms on a daily basis and provide the first two digits of their postal code. This allowed researchers to map the spread of the virus and better predict outbreaks, enabling a good allocation of resources and testing capacities. By November, almost 200,000 people had participated in the study. A second tool, the so-called Corona App, was emerged out of a collaboration by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the National Board of Health and Welfare. It consisted of a questionnaire that would be used to map the spread of COVID-19. However, the project was plagued with a series of issues, including privacy risks, and the project was dropped. Click here for more



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