• Monday, Jan 30, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Italy reveals 1st details of coronavirus tracing app

  • Published at 05:01 pm April 17th, 2020
Italy-coronavirus-Covid-19
A man wearing a face mask walks across a deserted street in Venice on March 18, 2020 AFP

The plan is to test the app in pilot regions and then expand it nationally. No timeframes were disclosed

Italy has announced the first details of its plan to use an app to trace coronavirus infections, as it starts exiting a two-month lockdown in early May.

Coronavirus commissioner Domenico Arcuri signed a decree late on Thursday awarding the Mediterranean country's contract to a Milan-based start-up called Bending Spoons.

The European Union recommended smartphone tracking apps as part of a roadmap unveiled on Wednesday to help countries ease restrictions that have prompted steep economic downturns across the bloc.

Arcuri's decree states that the free app must preserve users' anonymity and not track location. Instead, it will use bluetooth to log the phone's movements.

The plan is to test the app in pilot regions and then expand it nationally. No timeframes were disclosed.

Italy's announcement came a week after Apple and Google revealed plans to develop a contact-tracing app.

Their initiative would allow apps on phones using rival Apple and Google-backed Android software to exchange information. Arcuri's decree did not mention that project.

Countries such as South Korea and Israel have used apps to help people determine whether they came close to someone infected with the virus.

Technology experts warn the such apps are not fool proof since bluetooth signals works best in open spaces can be dropped in walled off offices and restaurants.

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