Iceland launches voluntary app for contact tracing


On April 1, Iceland launched an app that uses GPS to locate people who may have been in close contact with confirmed COVID-19 patients. A message containing a download link for the app will be sent to all Icelanders; downloading it and then agreeing to disclose GPS data are both voluntary, but for it to work as intended 60% will need to opt in. The app will register all nearby phones, so that if an individual gets infected the authorities will have an accurate record of everyone who came into contact with them and how long, and can send alerts to those who may have been exposed ordering them to quarantine. The idea was pioneered in Singapore, and other countries are developing similar apps. Human judgment will still play a key part in these decisions.


Writer: Poppy Askham
Publication:  The Reykjavik Grapevine