EU Calls for voluntary use of coronavirus tracing app

corona app
corona app
*Image credit: James Martin/CNET

One of the latest announcements by the European Commission encourages travellers to use virus-tracing apps so that Covid-19 restrictions may be lifted earlier and travel can resume, raising privacy concerns in the meantime, GTP Headlines reported.

The concept behind the virus-tracing technology is to enable national health authorities across the Union to inform users of Covid-19 test results, assess exposure risk, and issue alerts.

The European Commission underlined however that the use of such mobile tracking applications was to be purely voluntary.

“Apps cannot be used for mass surveillance. Individuals will keep control on their data,” EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said this week in an attempt to allay fears of future use by governments for surveillance.

He went on to add that once the coronavirus crisis was over, the contact-tracing apps would be automatically de-activated.

Several countries are already working on mobile tracing apps in efforts to reopen borders soon as tourism is a major economic driver in the EU.

It should be noted that EU member states have agreed on guidelines to ensure cross-border interoperability between tracing apps.

“Tracing apps must be voluntary, transparent, temporary, cybersecure, using pseudonymised data, should rely on Bluetooth technology and be interoperable across borders as well as across operating systems,” said the European Commission in a statement, issuing at the same time guidelines that will help developers work with health experts to design compatible apps.

*Source: GTP Headlines 


GTP is the leading travel information provider for the Greek travel industry. It holds and maintains the largest and most updated database in Greece' s tourism industry. Through its printed guide and the web site, it creates information channels that facilitate advanced Greek tourism business network. GTP started in 1975, with its printed edition and since then it has become an essential tool for the tourism professionals. It collects and manages the entire Greek tourism data and disseminates this information in a structured and well formatted way., GTP's on line version, was launched in 1998 and since then it serves more than 150.000 visitors per month. This tourism portal has broadened the audience of GTP and has spread the entire tourism data to final consumers.