Recommendation includes steps and measures for the use of mobile applications and data.
The European Commission has recommended steps and measures to develop a common EU approach to use mobile applications and mobile data in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It says that digital tools can play an important role in the gradual lifting of containment measures. The Recommendation sets out a process towards the adoption of a toolbox, focusing on two aspects:
The Recommendation sets out key principles for the use of these apps and data in relation to data security and the respect of EU fundamental rights such as privacy and data protection.
A common coordinated approach for the use of tracing apps
The Commission been looking into the effectiveness of apps solutions to address the crisis as well as their effect on data protection. The key part of the Recommendation is the proposal for a joint toolbox towards a common coordinated approach for the use of smartphone apps that comply with EU data protection standards. It will consist of:
The Commission will provide guidance including about data protection and privacy implications, and is working with the European Data Protection Board.
A common approach for predicting and modelling the spread
The toolbox will also focus on developing a common approach for modelling and predicting the evolution of the virus through anonymous and aggregated mobile location data. The aim is to analyse mobility patterns including the impact of confinement measures on the intensity of contacts, and hence the risks of contamination. The Commission says that this will be an important and proportionate input for tools modelling the spread of the virus, and should provide insights for the development of strategies for opening up societies again.
Member states and the Commission plan to develop a toolbox for a pan-European approach for mobile applications in association with the European Data Protection Board by 15 April 2020. The Commission will provide guidance including on data protection and privacy implications. Member States should report on the actions they have taken by 31 May 2020, and make the measures accessible to other member states and the Commission for peer review. The Commission will assess the progress made and publish periodic reports starting in June 2020 and throughout the crisis, recommending action and/or the phasing out of measures that are no longer necessary.