Spain’s COVID tracing app tries to balance public health with privacy

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By Isla Binnie2 Min ReadMADRID (Reuters) – “What does RadarCOVID not do?” a promotional video for Spain’s contact-tracing app asks. The answer: while navigating the country’s decentralised healthcare system, it does not locate users, identify them, record personal details, or send data.Slideshow ( 2 images )Without a vaccine or a cure for the coronavirus, which has killed nearly 1 million people worldwide, countries around the world have unleashed such technology to help break the chain of infections.Some governments’ contact-tracing tools use location data. But that tool is not available under European privacy laws in countries like Spain. Instead, they use Bluetooth to generate anonymous codes logging proximity between people’s phones.Most of the region’s apps, many based on a structure designed by Apple AAPL.O and Google GOOGL.O, prioritise data protection, making it difficult to gauge their usefulness.RadarCOVID’s developers also had to navigate Spain’s healthcare system, which devolves responsibility to 17 regions.“Our system is so complex that we have to simplify as much as possible,” Carme Artigas, head of the state digital and artificial intelligence unit, told Reuters in her Madrid office.“It works in the background. You forget about it and it is …

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