There are more than 1.6 million mobile phones with the application StayAway Covid functioning, but only 179 people diagnosed with covid-19 entered the code that allows to alert the remaining users of the app that they were in your vicinity.
“The problem with the application is not that it is voluntary. These are the difficulties in the organization of the health system and the difficulty of doctors in the front line ”, explains to the PUBLIC the president of the Institute of Systems and Computers Engineering, Technology and Science (Inesc Tec), José Manuel Mendonça, who has led the development of the application since March. “There are people who are diagnosed and have the code the next day. Others the following week, and another two weeks later. And then it no longer makes sense to use it. ”
The application, which was launched at the end of August, allows those infected with the new coronavirus to enter a code on their mobile phone (given by the doctor) that warns people they have been close to in the past 15 days.
So far, however, the Inesc Tec team says that only 500 people infected with covid-19 have received a code from a doctor to enter into the application. And only 179 decided to introduce it in app.
111 thousand more downloads since the announcement of Costa
The information comes at a time when the Government wants make it mandatory to use the application in work, school and academic contexts and to fine those who break the rules. Since the announcement made by the Prime Minister, app it was downloaded 111 thousand times.
“It is an increase of 7.9% over the previous day, which is very positive. But the Portuguese were already joining without any idea of being obligatory ”, reinforces the president of Inesc Tec, who admits to fearing the effects of the measure. “We are in agreement with the National Data Protection Commission,” he says: “making the application mandatory can be counterproductive and again raises fears about privacy that make no sense.”
This Wednesday, the National Data Protection Commission (CNPD) noted that making the use of an application mandatory to warn of possible contagions by covid-19 “raises serious questions regarding the privacy of citizens”. When it was approved in July in the Council of Ministers, the application was presented as “a complementary and voluntary instrument to respond to the epidemiological situation” through the reinforcement of the identification of contacts.
For the team StayAway Covid, the priority must be to develop a way for the medical diagnosis of covid-19 to be accompanied by a code that people can enter into the application.
The President of the Republic announced this Thursday that he could send the law to the Constitutional Court. “I prefer a thousand times to ask the Constitutional Court to quickly clarify the situation than to proceed with a decision that will lead to controversy,” said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
“Parliament is free to approve or not,” said the President, but if at the end of the legislative process “doubts still arise”, the law will go to the Constitutional. In other words, the law will not be enacted until its constitutionality has been clarified.