From top Daragh O’Brien of technology and data governance firm Castlebridge; Covid-19 tracing app in Singapore
Susan Mitchell and Aaron Rogan, in The Business Post, reported that members of the public will be asked to “opt into” a mobile phone tracking and tracing app by the HSE as part of its strategy against Covid-19.
The HSE has already been in contact with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner about the app.
The track and trace technology that the HSE plans to introduce will be facilitated by an opt-in mobile phone app that will allow people to be notified if they were in close proximity to confirmed cases.
Similar apps have been used in Singapore and South Korea, which have been held up as exemplars of how to successfully battle the coronavirus pandemic.
The apps help with contact tracing, which is the process of identifying those who have had close contact with infected individuals. Without technology, these efforts rely on the recall and memory of infected individuals.
Under plans being advanced by the HSE, phones with the app installed would exchange short-distance Bluetooth signals where users are near each other. Records of those encounters are then stored.
A senior health service source said the app would be free to use, and would operate on an “opt-in” basis. If a user is found to have the coronavirus, the app would allow the health service to notify other users of the app who have been in close contact with that individual by telephone.
…Castlebridge, a technology and data governance firm, has conducted research into the Singapore app in recent weeks.
Daragh O’Brien, managing director of the firm, said that there was merit to that model for Ireland which, he said did not record location data but instead used “Bluetooth signal strength to infer the distance between the two devices and how long the two devices are in close proximity to each other”.
It is entirely different with lots of extra things. My view: there are at least two apps here. One for contact tracing and another for isolation case management. And the idea of push notifications is bonkers without some additional context.
— Daragh O Brien (@CBridge_Chief) March 29, 2020