Data protection slows down creation of Belgian contact tracing app

Data protection slows down creation of Belgian contact tracing app
Credit: Belga

No decision has yet been taken regarding the implementation of a coronavirus tracing application, Walloon Health Minister Christie Morreale said on Tuesday.

"Wallonia is still waiting for a solid legal framework," Morreale told the Walloon Parliament.

"We are working hard to define a framework that responds to the opinion of the Data Protection Authority and the remarks of the Council of State on the use of such an application," she said.

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The possible launch of a tracing app would necessarily be complementary to the tracers currently working via the call centre, she warned.

As it is currently organised, tracing allows for 64% of index cases to be contacted, with an average of 1.6 contacts per case. "The various indicators show that the quality of the process is improving day by day, although there is still room for improvement," Morreale added.

Morreale also discussed the available technology for developing a contact tracing app. "The solution proposed by Google and Apple is not the only one," she said.

"A European consortium of ten universities is working on the development of a system that meets criteria in terms of the GDPR by the European Data Protection Commission," she said, stressing the importance of a "strict legal framework."

The Brussels Times

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