Cabinet wants to use apps in combating corona: “Privacy must be guaranteed ‘

The government hopes to soon launch an app which warns people when they have been in contact with a patient’s corona. “We will select the best app with one important condition: privacy must be safeguarded,” said Minister Hugo de Jonge Tuesday.

The app, which works via Bluetooth, is already used in several countries in Asia and Austria. The government is taking the idea of ​​an opinion on the Dutch Feike Sijbesma, chairman of chemical company DSM and special envoy of the government during the crisis corona. “Personally I’m a big proponent of that idea,” Sijbesma said earlier on Tuesday.

According Sijbesma viewing Netherlands all apps in Asia. “We will make maximum use of inputs from Asia, perhaps even using Asian suppliers. In those countries where it is used, you see that people are happy that they know they have been in contact with a patient. ”

balancing

When asked whether the application is required, said Prime Minister Mark Rutte Tuesday: “We keep the option open, but each option is crucial that take privacy into account.”

Sijbesma also guards against the consequences of such an app privacy of citizens. “This is obviously an important factor to look at. The app registers with whom you come in contact. ”

According to former DSM CEO Sijbesma the privacy section a trade to be made by the government: “The importance of privacy and public interest of public health and the economy. But in all those countries where it is used, the data are not given name basis. Only there was someone in your neighborhood. Not the name John Doe. ”

Keep an eye on

“It may be that you have corona without you even noticing it,” he continues. “If you have four days before that have been in contact with someone, he will receive a signal:” You’ve been in contact with someone who has now corona. “Then you do not have to stay inside, but you have yourself a while in the keep an eye on. ”

The apps that are used to set, for example, the number of meters from where you’ve been with a patient corona around in other countries, and how long was that period. When the coronavirus had just broken out in our country, made the GGD, through contact investigation still work to get into the picture with which an infected Dutchman in time before all’ve been in contact. When the number increased infections, was not to do.

replacing GGD

“So we have those apps actually needed to support the municipal health services,” said Minister Hugo de Jonge Tuesday during the press conference of the Cabinet. “We are looking very closely at what is being used across the border, and if that can replace the work of the Public Health Service.”

According Sijbesma is launching a corona app especially useful during the period that the Netherlands is cautious termination of lockdown when people turn increasingly to the streets. “But for me holds nothing to carry us from this quickly.” He sees the app as part of a package. “Along with expanding the number of corona tests and the introduction of a 1.5-meter economy, where people still keep their distance from each other.”

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