The Portuguese COVID-19 tracking app is really reaching users. Today, a decree on application was published in Diário da República.
This decree-law establishes the data controller and regulates the physician’s intervention in the STAYAWAY COVID system.
The STAYAWAY COVID app will be a huge help in tracking COVID-19. What today takes many hours to do, which is to understand which contacts an infected person was with, can be accomplished in a few minutes. The STAYAWAY app detects physical proximity between smartphones and informs users that they have been in the same space as someone infected in the last 14 days with the new coronavirus.
How does the STAYAWAY COVID App work?
Each mobile phone broadcasts anonymous identifiers in its vicinity and stores the identifiers disseminated by the mobile phones with which it crosses locally. Although it is absolutely devoid of a relationship with the mobile phones that generated it and, consequently, with the users of those mobile phones, this information will allow it to detect its proximity to an infected person.
A person confirmed as infected with COVID-19 will be able to post online, with the legitimation of the health authorities, their anonymous identifiers that they shared in the last 14 days. With this public information, the application of each person can easily assess autonomously if in the previous days he was close to the infected person. The use of the app is voluntary and not intrusive.
Like other countries, in Portugal, the use of a digital risk factor identification and notification system was considered relevant – due to the physical proximity and the duration of contact with COVID-19 patients – as a complementary measure to the national strategy of response to the COVID-19 pandemic and aware of its interest in the field of public health.
Data responsibility rests with DGS
According to the decree-law now published, the STAYAWAY COVID system was developed by the Institute of Computer Systems Engineering, Science and Technology (INESC TEC), in partnership with the Institute of Public Health of the University of Porto and the companies Keyruptive and Ubirider, within the scope of the National Digital Skills Initiative e.2030.
The responsibility for the data lies with the Directorate-General for Health, which contracts with SPMS – Shared Services of the Ministry of Health, EPE, the services and technical means necessary for its proper functioning.
Decree-Law No. 52/2020