Use of virus-tracing apps should be voluntary, EU says

The use of contact tracing apps designed to control the spread of coronavirus should be voluntary, according to the European Commission.

The governing body of the European Union is set to recommend a voluntary opt-in model for contact tracing apps to its member states as part of a raft of measures designed to ease lockdown restrictions. 

“Contact tracing and warning measures, for example, with the use of mobile apps, could be used, on a voluntary basis, by passengers to detect and interrupt infection chains and reduce the risk of further transmission,” a European Commission document said. 

Contact tracing apps have been touted as a potential tool to help get people out of lockdown while reducing the chances of a second wave of infections, and have been looked at by both the UK and other countries fighting to contain Covid-19.

Users who download the app to their smartphones will have a code sent by Bluetooth to others with the app to register anyone they might have been in contact with. 

When a user starts to develop Covid-19 symptoms, they can input details into the app, which then notifies those who have had close proximity to that individual, recommending them to self-isolate.

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