Italy Approves Coronavirus Contact Tracing App

Italy Approves Coronavirus Contact Tracing App
Italy has approved the use of a mobile phone app to support contact-tracing efforts in the fight against the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The decision was taken in an overnight cabinet meeting, the government said on Thursday.

“Immuni” will not be compulsory, but officials say it will be effective only if at least 50 percent of the population downloads it.

The app allows a user who tests positive for the novel coronavirus to warn people he or she has been in close contact with via an anonymous message.

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To ensure privacy, ”Immuni” will not use geolocation technology but is expected to detect nearby mobile phones using Bluetooth, which should therefore always be turned on.

The government said people who refuse to use the app will not be penalised in any way, and said only public or state-controlled institutions will store and handle data from the app.

According to media reports, the app should be ready by mid-May.

Italy is one of the countries in the world worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 27,682 deaths and 203,591 infections reported as of Wednesday.



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