Slovenia’s Contact Tracing App Operational, Available by Saturday

By , 31 Jul 2020, 09:08 AM Lifestyle
Slovenia’s Contact Tracing App Operational, Available by Saturday Images: Ministry of Health

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STA, 30 July 2020 - The Slovenian contact tracing app will be localised and uploaded to GooglePlay and AppStore by Saturday, the deadline for the app to be up and running under a relevant contract, said the Public Administration Ministry on Thursday. The app is operational and currently being tested by the ministry and National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ).

The app #OstaniZdrav (#StayWell) is expected to be available for download in mid-August or the second half of August, given the experience by other countries which also based their contact tracing apps on Android and IOS mobile operating systems, said Peter Geršak, the ministry's state secretary at today's coronavirus briefing.

Saturday marks the deadline by which the app must be localised on the basis of the German Corona-Warn-App under the contract the government signed with developer RSteam, said Geršak, highlighting that the app would help stem the spread of the coronavirus and urging citizens to use it.

The institute and ministry (MJU) are currently testing the product to ensure the internalisation of the open-source app has been done right and to assess its operations, functionality and information security.

Primož Cigoj, RSteam director and a researcher at the Jožef Stefan Institute, said today that #OstaniZdrav would be easy to use and would require no special skills. After downloading it, the user will get instructions on its use and activation will be only one click away.

"The app requires nothing of you. If you get infected, you enter a 10-digit code given by an epidemiologist, and even that is voluntary," said Cigoj.

logotip covid tracking app logo2-01.png

The logotip of the app

#OstaniZdrav will warn the user about the level of risk of contracting the virus using three colours - green will represent low risk, blue an unknown state indicating relevant data is still being gathered, and red increased risk, meaning contact with infected persons.

Both Cigoj and Geršak said that the issues experienced by the German app regarding exchanging data have been resolved in the Slovenian version.

The state secretary pointed out that the app would not be used for geolocation data tracking and would not have access to any personal information stored on the phone which could give away the user's identity.

The Information Commissioner has not yet given the final go-ahead for the app, said Cigoj, but he does not expect any problems. The app is currently available only in Slovenia, he added.

Later in the day, Information Commissioner Mojca Prelesnik reiterated that the legal basis for the introduction of the app was inappropriate.

The ministry's outcome estimate regarding personal data protection which did not stem from the relevant law is not enough to mitigate the shortcomings of the legislation, she said, adding that such a document should have been drawn up before endorsing the law.

She pointed out that the standpoint of all European data protection watchdogs on such legal bases was the same in that respect.

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