Norway to halt COVID-19 track and trace app on data protection concerns

by Reuters
Monday, 15 June 2020 10:18 GMT

The National Institute of Public Health's new app Smittestopp (Infection Stop) for infection tracking is pictured, in Oslo, Norway April 16, 2020. The app is intended to help authorities with infection detection, but can also be used to alert the user that he or she has been close to someone infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). NTB Scanpix/Heiko Junge via REUTERS

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The data protection watchdog said collecting data through the app could no longer could be seen as reasonable amid privacy concerns

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OSLO, June 15 (Reuters) - Norway will halt its COVID-19 track and trace app and delete all data collected so far after criticism from the Norwegian Data Protection Authority, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) said on Monday.

The app was introduced by some Norwegian authorities to limit the transmission of the coronavirus.

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The data protection watchdog said on Friday that considering the low spread of the infection, among other issues, collecting data through the app could no longer could be seen as reasonable amid privacy concerns.

"We don't agree with the DPA's evaulation, but feel it is necessary to delete all data and put work on hold as a result of this," NIPH said in a statement.

"We will as a result weaken an important part of our preparedness against a spread in infection, as we now lose time for development and testing of the app."

(Reporting by Victoria Klesty; Editing by Nick Macfie)