• This is a first test to check the operation of this application for mobile terminals and may be adopted by the Autonomous Communities in connection with the health system
  • The pilot test will launch next week on the Canary Island of La Gomera and will last two weeks.
  • This tool would add to the existing measures for the notification of risky contacts and that are allowing the control of the pandemic

June 23, 2020.- The Council of Ministers has given the green light to the contract to design, develop and evaluate a pilot test for a mobile application that allows notifying the contacts of a user of the possible risk of contagion by COVID-19.

The objective is that the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, through the Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence, and in coordination with the Canary Health Service, launch a pilot test of this technological tool next week on the Canary Island of La Gomera.

The pilot aims to evaluate technical aspects and experience of use of the citizen, in order to optimize the design of the application and its degree of confidence. It will also serve to calibrate the algorithm of the app in order to guarantee the veracity of the notifications.

Once the pilot test has been completed and evaluated in a real scenario, the appropriate decisions can be made to connect with the health system of the different autonomous communities.

This technological tool joins the measures already put in place by the health authorities to follow the contacts of COVID-19 infections and which, together with the preventive measures adopted, are contributing to the control of the pandemic.

The contract approved by the Council of Ministers for the emergency procedure has been signed with the company Indra Soluciones Tecnológicas de la Información S.L.U. for an amount of 330,537.52 euros, VAT included.

Initiatives in the European Union

Both the European Commission and the World Health Organization recognize the additional usefulness of these applications to detect possible outbreaks and thus help to break the transmission chain, favoring safe, commercial and educational reactivation, always safeguarding privacy principles. of citizenship.

At the moment, most European countries are in similar phases of developing contagion alert tools. France, Italy or Germany have launched them in recent weeks.

Spain ranks fourth in the world to launch a pilot with the Apple / Google API. Of these, this will be the first pilot who cares about the user experience and the only one who simulates infections, which will allow for better data collection.

In this sense, the countries that participate in common work at the European level, among which Spain is an active member, have agreed on the interoperability of their technological solutions. For this, a reference architecture has been approved for interoperability between decentralized applications -such as the Spanish pilot- and work is already underway to make interoperability also possible between decentralized and centralized systems.

How this technology works

The application uses the terminal's Bluetooth connection, through which mobiles emit and observe anonymous identifiers of other phones that change periodically. When two terminals have been close for a certain period of time, they both keep the anonymous identifier issued by the other.

If any user were diagnosed positive for COVID-19 after performing a PCR test, they would decide whether to give their consent so that, through the health system, they could send an anonymous notification. In this way, the mobile phones that had been in contact with the patient would receive a warning about the risk of possible contagion and instructions on how to proceed would be provided.

During the pilot of this tool, its use experience will be tested to validate that it is understandable and manageable for citizens. In addition, its operation will be verified through fictitious identifiers, with positives and negatives generated, so that it can be verified how the notification system works by adjusting its operational threshold to avoid distortions in a future real scenario.

Privacy

The development uses a decentralized model, based on the Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (DP-3T) protocol, the most respectful of user privacy. This implies that only the encrypted identifiers that each mobile phone issues are sent to the server, not those that it receives from other nearby terminals. From time to time, mobiles download the new confirmed contagion identifiers to compare with their records. That is, the data collation and risk analysis is always carried out on the user's mobile and not on a server, which guarantees privacy.

This application complies, therefore, with all the guarantees set by European regulations to safeguard the privacy of citizens. Furthermore, it guarantees proportionality and minimizes the use of personal data. The use of the application will be voluntary and framed within the limits of the health emergency, in strict compliance with the recommendations of the European Commission in this regard.

The Spanish Data Protection Agency has participated in the process prior to the launch of this pilot and will also participate in the evaluation of the results in order to propose improvements that guarantee users' privacy at all times.



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