The Immuni app will also work abroad and between foreign users


We can also use the Immuni app abroad, at least in some European countries. And it will also work with users of other nationalities. The EU Member States and the European Commission have reached an agreement in this regard, but under certain conditions. In fact, the long-awaited ‘interoperability’ of the apps for the control of coronavirus infections, such as the Italian Immuni, launched from Monday 15 June operating throughout the national territory.


Immunos, questions and answers on the contact tracing app

The Commission has already published the technical specifications (here the .pdf) that countries will have to integrate into their IT systems for tracking. In practice, what does this mean for Italians? Above all, two things. We will be notified that we have been in contact with a Covid-19 patient even when we are abroad. And we will receive the notice even if the infected person in question is not Italian and uses another app, foreign, other than Immuni.

in reproduction ….

The limits for travelers

The government website dedicated to Immuni explains all the limitations that there are today when traveling: “on iOS devices, exposure notifications are disabled if you are abroad” (on Android instead not, ed); “the app can connect to the server (for example, to download user keys that have tested positive for the virus) only if you are within the European Union. At the moment, connections to the server from other territories are not supported for security reasons”; “in case you are positive to the virus, you will have to be in Italy to be able to upload your keys to the server (an operation that then allows notifications to be sent to users who have come into contact with the infected person, ed) “. Finally,” currently, the app only detects contacts with other Immuni users. It doesn’t detect contacts with app users for exposure notifications from other countries. ”

The decentralized model

The Commission will also launch a central server for data sharing, always encrypted and pro-privacy. Unfortunately, however, everything will only be valid among some (a few, in fact) countries, the guidelines read: only among those that have adhered to the same model chosen by Immuni, defined “decentralized” and promoted by an alliance between Google and Apple. Like Germany and Belgium. Not Spain, which doesn’t have a national app. Nor is France still undecided between the centralized and decentralized model. Switzerland follows our same model, but as it does not belong to the European community, it does not necessarily mean that it adapts to interoperability.


The Immune pandemic app close to three million downloads

We keep in mind that in Germany the app is having some success: 6.5 million downloads in 24 hours; Immuni is at 3 million after almost two weeks of being available on the stores. It must be said that the communication campaign for Immuni has not yet started, developed without costs for the state, while Germany has spent 20 million euros on its app.

Interoperability: since when

Finally, the launch times for interoperability are uncertain, but it is certain that a race has started to do as quickly as possible; if not for August at least for autumn, in view of the possible new wave. “As the tourist season approaches,” he said Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market – it is important to ensure that European citizens can use their country’s application wherever they travel to the EU. Contact tracking apps can be useful in limiting the spread of coronavirus, particularly in the context of national strategies aimed at lifting the confinement measures. “


Immune app, made the specifications public. Here’s how it works

“Interoperability of contact tracing apps is a key element in the fight against Covid for two reasons,” said the digital lawyer. Fulvio Sarzana. “The first is that interoperability is able to limit the return infections in individual countries, helping to avoid the risks of lockdown of individual states compared to others. The second is the possibility that, by operating apps in the transnational context, can limit the phenomena of ‘false negatives’, that is, the cases of subjects who would not be traced in the countries where they go on vacation if there was no interoperability. And they would therefore be able to infect a certain number of people “.


Coronavirus, Google-Apple alliance to track infections

“The European Commission takes advantage of the great work of Apple and Google. Without the ‘technological blackmail’ of the two companies at this time we would be faced with national apps that could not dialogue with each other”, he adds Antonino Polimeni, lawyer specialized in new technologies.

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