Europe Rolls Out Contact Tracing Apps, With Hope and Trepidation - (The New York Times via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Italy expanded its pilot programme for COVID-19 contact tracing on June 15, to join the first European countries using national contact tracing apps, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

  • Although Italy had envisioned a centralised system, the Immuni app is voluntary and is built on a platform developed in a collaboration between Apple and Google that limited its data-transmission capabilities.

  • "It could be a tool with major impact," said Paola Pisano, Italy's minister for technological innovation, adding that "it depends on how it will be used."

  • Pisano said that if Italy only had to consider health concerns, and not citizens’ privacy, "military GPS gives me precision to three millimetres," adding that Italy's goal of "inclusivity," and thus effectiveness motivated the decision.

  • She noted that the real number of potential users in Italy, when one subtracted those without access to the internet or people aged under the 14 years, was about 30 million.

  • Separately on Tuesday, the European Union announced that its members had agreed to standards to allow their various apps to share data.

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