Dutch government’s coronavirus app delayed again

Release of the CoronaMelder app, originally set to be available for widespread use in August, is now postponed again. The government says the earliest it may be ready is mid-October.

The hold-up seems to be with a sitting bill in the Senate regarding privacy laws. “The app has been technically ready since the beginning of August but it is now on the shelf,” one of the app makers told NOS.

A vote on the new law will take place on October 6 at the earliest. Then, it will take another week or more before legal paperwork is squared away. If additional questions arise from the Senate, the process may take longer.

Government hold-up

App developers worked long and hard to have it ready on time and completed it in an impressively short amount of time. “We worked for a long time, also on weekends and evenings, holidays have been postponed,” says app maker Jelle Prins.

The tech side of the operation is disappointed in the delay after all of their effort, but doesn’t wish to blame the government. However, those involved say it was clear from the beginning that legal substantiation would be necessary. App makers question why the Ministry of Health had not foreseen the slow parliamentary process.

Another oddity of the government’s response is that this particular app is under such scrutiny, while privacy is less of a concern in other areas. Developers say the app is “very well boarded up.” And in addition to keeping data secure, everyone remains anonymous, and the virus can be well-traced.

The app is available for download now in the App Store and Play Store. Developers encourage people to download it so they can begin to map encounters.

What do you think of the legal hold-ups with the corona app? Let us know in the comments!

Feature Image: Canva/DutchReview

Brin Andrews
Brin Andrewshttp://brinandrews.com
Brin is an avid ice cream eater from the US, calling Amsterdam home since early 2019. As a lover of mountains, life below sea level has been a bit of an adjustment, but she manages to stay afloat with long runs, wine, and frequent travel. Incidentally, these are a few of her favourite topics to write about.

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