Government Will Develop An App To Geolocate Mobiles During The Coronavirus
Develop An App To Geolocate Mobiles The application will request access to the location to verify that the user “is in the autonomous community in which he declares to be”
The Ministry of Health has commissioned an application to provide citizens with information about Covid-19 that will allow them to know its location. In addition, it has commissioned a study that will allow geolocating users’ mobiles -in the days prior to and during the state of alarm- with which it intends to “understand population movements” and see “health capabilities in each province”.
As can be read in the Official State Gazette, “it is considered necessary to carry out various actions that, without prejudice to the powers of other Public Administrations, contribute to improving the management of the crisis.” Thus, these actions will try to “offer alternative channels of reliable information to citizens” and “have real information on the mobility of people in the days leading up to and during confinement.” Thus, an application will be developed and a study will be carried out.
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Through this application it will be possible to know the location of the users “for the sole purpose of verifying that they are in the autonomous community in which they declare to be”, something that seems to collide, at least in part, with what is established in the fourth point, which explains that the provisions of the order “are without prejudice to the application of the regime provided for in the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (…) relating to the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and the free circulation of this data “.
With this app it will be possible for users to perform a “self-assessment” based on the symptoms they report. They will be offered information, advice and recommendations, but “it will not constitute, in any case, a service for medical diagnosis, emergency care or prescription of pharmacological treatments.” Thus, using this tool “will in no way replace consultation with a duly qualified medical professional.”
Therefore, although the application can locate a user in a specific autonomous community, it should not serve for official counts of infected people, since in no case would it serve as a diagnosis. The person responsible for the treatment will be the Ministry of Health and the person in charge of the treatment and holder of the application will be the General Secretariat for Digital Administration.
Regarding the study, it is established that the data provided by mobile operators (those “with which an agreement is reached”) will be added and anonymised. Both the days prior to quarantine and those of the confinement itself will be analyzed and will be carried out by the INE, which already collected similar data at the end of last year to study the movements of citizens.