EU Says 'Bugger That' to Making COVID-19 Contact Tracing App Mandatory for Travel

By Shabana Arif on at

The idea that the various coronavirus contact tracing apps in development could become mandatory is a legitimate concern, but the EU has shot that idea right out of the water - at least where international travel is concerned.

The suggestion that anyone who wants to travel via air or international train services should be forced to download a contact tracing app was in the pot at one point, but the EU has quashed that, saying that the use of any of these apps should be voluntary, but that governments should encourage their citizens to use them - as the UK government has thus far been doing with its joke of an NHS app. The European Commission has said:

"Tracing apps must be voluntary, transparent, temporary, cybersecure, using pseudonymised data, should rely on Bluetooth technology and be interoperable across borders as well as across operating systems."

It's also stressed the importance of countries developing contact tracing apps that will be able to work with others, so they continue to function effectively. Currently, it's a bit of a free-for-all when it comes to governments choosing which approach they'll take, with some absolute buffoonery going on with those who opt for a centralised approach, and are trying to extract information from users that can make them identifiable. Like the NHS contact tracing app.

Apple and Google's API seem to be the best bet, as it offers some measure of security over the NHSX's inexplicable choice of architecture. The NHS is reportedly looking into the possibility of switching the API it's using as its Isle of Wight trial of the app continues to be an embarrassment. [9to5 Mac]

Feature image credit: Unsplash