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30th Mar 2020

Contact tracing app for Irish smartphones could be rolled out in next 10 days

Darragh Murphy

Contact tracing app

Irish people could soon be able to utilise a contact tracing smartphone app which will allow them to determine if they may have come in contact with somebody with Covid-19.

The Health Service Executive revealed on Sunday that they are assisting in what has been described as “a cross-government effort in relation to a very important piece of technology.”

The Sunday Business Post first reported on the development of the smartphone app in Ireland, with ongoing consultation with the Data Protection Commissioner in order to ensure that the app will observe strict GDPR regulations.

Set to be an opt-in service, the app will apparently use bluetooth to keep track of phones potentially coming into close contact with phones belonging to those who have contracted Covid-19.

Speaking at Sunday’s media briefing, HSE head of communications Paul Connors said: “This is a cross-government effort in relation to a very important piece of technology in fighting Covid-19.

“It will alert people close to them. It will also provide really important information for people and it will feed back important information where people can. If they choose, provide information about their general state of well-being at a particular time and that will be fed back in for our epidemiological assessment as we go along.

“We’re still working very closely with a number of agencies to help us get through some particular peculiarities such as GDPR.

“We’re working very closely with the Data Protection Commissioner on that.

“It’s likely it will be rolled out in the next ten days or so. And certainly is is an opt-in process for people.”