Following up on Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the 7 o’clock press conference was Minister De Jonge of Medical Care. Most of his speech was focused at the future deployment of apps to monitor and control the spread of coronavirus in the Netherlands.
The Dutch cabinet wants to focus on the mass use of apps to curb the spread of the coronavirus, minister Hugo de Jonge said at the press conference after Rutte addressed the nation.
“Two apps will soon be at the core of the new testing policy,” but he also emphasized that extensive research is still being conducted into these two apps. Furthermore, many times he repeated his message of “We will only do this if privacy is guaranteed.”. However, neither Rutte or De Jonge could tell if the use of apps would be mandatory or not and how this would work in the ‘liberal’ Netherlands.
Mass testing, tracing, reporting are the next steps in the fight against coronavirus
The apps are intended to support the work of the GGD, now in the lead when it comes to testing for coronavirus in the Netherlands. In the future, there should be mass testing followed up by the use of two apps.
De Jonge: “For example, an app tells you whether you have been around another user who has been found to be infected. You are then advised to stay indoors and you are asked to use a second app, with which you can easily keep in touch with a local doctor. ” De Jonge said that there were still a lot of questions to be answered and that, for example, the localization function could be done through bluetooth or GPS. Overstating that privacy was their main concern as well, although immediately on twitter Dutch privacy activists raised many concerns:
Inderdaad contact tracing app dus
'We kijken naar privacy. Uitwerking volgt nog'
1. Vrijwillige deelname
2. Geen centrale opslag locatiegegevens (dus enkel telefoons die in de buurt zijn geweest ontvangen waarschuwing) #persconferentie #coronavirusNederland https://t.co/ueq5j0jAyf
— Matthijs Pontier 💜🏴☠️ (@Matthijs85) April 7, 2020
The research into the apps should be completed within a few weeks, Rutte also said that there would be more news about the 28th of April deadline in the week before that.
How do you feel about the use of apps to trace and report coronavirus in the Netherlands? Should this be optional or mandatory for all? Let us know in the comments?
Feat Image: still / NOS press conference