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COVID-19: Finally the lockdown with new digital solutions!

By pandemic Coronation COVID-19 has hit a large number of countries around the world, European countries are considering which strategies have worked best to address the global pandemic so far, with many of them adopting, among other things, new digital solutions (apps and tools) to cope with the new conditions of the next day lockdown.

In the Czech Republic, the government has earlier restricted traffic, including a ban on public events and the closure of schools, restaurants and cultural facilities. This has resulted in a relatively low number of cases and deaths in the country. However, the Czech authorities are now ready to relax the restrictive measures by adopting digital solutions. In particular, they will implement a digital one system called “smart quarantine"

This system was created by the political initiative COVID19CZ, a team of Czech IT specialists, has so far been tested in the southern part of the country and now the authorities are willing to extend it to the rest of the country. The "smart quarantine" demands the consent of those who want to participate in it. In addition, it creates a map of the movements of those infected with COVID-19. Watching them data mobile phones and payments made with credit card in the last five days those infected with the virus, the health authorities can identify people who may have come in contact with them. Authorities then contacted the men and placed them in quarantine for three days, while they waited to be examined to see if they had been infected. Health professionals then ask them if they have visited or met anyone to further determine how the virus can spread. With all this data, the system creates a memory map that records the movements and position of infected individuals and their contacts, making it easier for authorities to prevent a further spread of COVID-19. The goal of this initiative is also to ensure that not everyone is quarantined, except for those who are ill or exposed to the virus.

According to Czech Deputy Health Minister Roman Prymula, who is the main coordinator of the project, 150 participants took part in the trial phase of the system. Prymula also noted that the Czech army will also take part in the project, in order to strengthen the efforts of the health authorities. Michal Vit, a professor at the Metropolitan University of Prague, said police were in no way involved in the process, and that the purpose of the system was to help ease the measures and strengthen the country's economy. Regarding data protection, the COVID19CZ team noted that the data collected remains in the system file for only six hours at most and then deleted. The Czech Ministry of Health has also developed a data security system, which will ensure that the whole process does not hide risks. However, part of the Czech population is still skeptical about the distribution of personal and sensitive data, arguing that the government makes it feel as if it is participating in a reality show, as Prague-based journalist Julie Mahlerova told ZDNet.

At the same time in Poland, the authorities are adopting other digital solutions. In particular, they are developing a mobile app through Bluetooth called "ProteGO", which will notify users if they have come in contact with someone infected with COVID-19. If a person becomes ill, his or her condition may change dramatically. The app will then notify all users who have come in contact with that person in the last two weeks, pointing them to potential risks and giving them advice on the steps to follow. According to the Polish Ministry of Digital Governance, the data will be encrypted and stored on the phone for two weeks, but will not be sent anywhere or will be used to collect data regarding the location of users. According to privacy experts, the Polish application promises to meet all privacy policies, noting that many governments are currently developing technologies to monitor their citizens. However, ProteGO is an example of an application that tries to follow privacy policies, as well as an open source volunteer application that uses Bluetooth technology and encryption. Finally, the Polish authorities published the source code of ProteGO on the Internet, to receive comments and opinions from experts in the field of information technology, before its release.


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