Ireland has finally launched its COVID-19 contact tracing app, which was revamped to use the Apple-Google Exposure Notification API.
COVID Tracker Ireland is based on the Apple-Google privacy-respecting framework that exited beta in mid-May. The app allows health officials to track and curb the spread of COVID-19 in Oreland without impacting users’ privacy. The app sends a notification to the user if they have recently come into contact with another app user that has tested positive for COVID-19.
Downloading the app and participating in the program is voluntary, users have full control over their data, and all data is anonymous and is never stored on a central server.
Apps like this require a majority of the population to use them if they’re to be effective. Luckily, at least 82% of respondents to an Irish study conducted in June said they would download the app.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly told The Journal that the app will allow “every single person to play an extra part.”
“It will allow us to get on with contact tracing in a matter of hours,” Donnelly added. “It will allow people who have the app to completely control their own data.”
Ireland is the latest country to adopt the Apple-Google way of doing things when it comes to COVID-19 detection, joining countries that include Germany, Italy, Latvia, and Switzerland. Canada has indicated its upcoming app will use the Apple-Google API.
Although COVID-19 cases are reportedly on the rise in the United States, no contact tracing app based on the API has been announced nationally, although some states have indicated they are looking at developing apps based on the API.