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Europe starts testing app interoperability service to power cross-border COVID-19 exposure alerts

Europe starts testing app interoperability service to power cross-border COVID-19 exposure alerts

The European Commission has begun testing backend infrastructure that’s wanted to make nationwide coronavirus contacts tracing apps interoperate throughout the bloc’s inner borders.

It’s kicked off take a look at runs between the backend servers of the official apps from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Latvia, and the newly established gateway server — which is being developed and arrange by T-Systems and SAP, and might be operated from the Commission’s knowledge centre in Luxembourg, it stated at present.

The service is because of grow to be operational in October, which means EU Member States with appropriate apps might be in a position prolong digital contacts tracing for app customers travelling throughout the group of listed international locations.

Interoperability tips had been agreed for nationwide coronavirus contacts tracing apps again in May.

The Commission says the gateway service will solely change a minimal of information — particularly the arbitrary identifiers generated by the tracing apps.

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“The info exchanged is pseudonymised, encrypted, stored to the minimal, and solely saved so long as essential to hint again infections. It doesn’t enable the identification of particular person individuals,” it provides.

Only decentralized nationwide coronavirus contacts tracing apps are appropriate with the gateway service at this stage. And whereas the Commission says it’s persevering with to help work being undertaken inside some Member States to search out methods to increase interoperability to tracing apps with totally different architectures, it’s not clear how viable that might be with out dangers to privateness.

The foremost benefit of the interoperability plan for nationwide coronavirus contacts tracing apps is to keep away from the necessity for EU residents to put in a number of tracing apps — offered they’re touring to a different nation within the area that has a nationwide app with appropriate structure.

However, along with various decisions of app structure, some EU Member States don’t also have a nationwide app but. So it’s clear there’ll proceed to be gaps in cross-border protection for the foreseeable future which will increase the problem of breaking (non-domestic-)travel-related coronavirus transmission trains.

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How will Europe’s coronavirus contact-tracing apps work throughout borders?

EditorialTeam

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