Corona app from the starting blocks | The time


From Wednesday, everyone can download the Coronalert app on their smartphone.

The Belgian corona app is available from Wednesday for free in the Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) app stores. The use of Coronalert will be promoted with posters, flyers and on dynamic signs above the highway.

Coronalert serves to prevent the spread of the corona virus. The app keeps track of high-risk contacts anonymously. When a doctor prescribes a test, the user can generate a code in his app that is linked to the code of his test. If the test is positive, the user gets that info in his app and can send a notification to anyone who has been around.

In recent weeks, 17,000 Belgians have already been able to try the app. “There are no technical problems,” says Carmen De Rudder, spokeswoman for the Interfederal Testing and Tracing Committee.

‘We are only working on the link between the corona test and the app of the patient undergoing such a test. This has nothing to do with the app, but with the fact that not all doctors correctly link the 17-digit code of the app to the test. You should certainly indicate that you are using the app when you first contact your doctor. ‘

We also continue to call potentially infected people.

Karine Moykens

Head of the Interfederal Testing and Tracing Committee

According to Karine Moykens, head of the Interfederal Testing and Tracing Committee, this problem has no consequences for the detection of corona infections. ‘Contact tracing is not endangered, because we also keep calling potentially infected people. If things go wrong with the app or if people have not installed the app, that is still the effective way of contact tracing. ‘

Confusion with iPhone application

Note: an application in the iPhone leads to a bit of confusion. Settings include “ exposure alerts, ” which Apple believes can let you know if you may have been exposed to Covid-19.

‘But that’s just a kind of interface so that European countries can run their corona apps on it,’ says Professor Bart Preneel (KU Leuven), architect of the Belgian app.

Privacy respected

Test-Achats gives the Belgian corona app good marks for user-friendliness and privacy. ‘The app doesn’t know where you are, who you are or who you have met. The only data that is exchanged are codes that are almost impossible to decipher. Moreover, it is only those codes, which then change frequently, which are stored on the central server, not the names of patients or their contacts. ‘

The consumer organization is also positive about safety. ‘The exchange of data between the app and the servers is encrypted and the servers themselves are highly resistant to possible attacks by hackers.’

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