Norwegian government to discontinue infection control app and try new solution

Smittestopp appPhoto: Heiko Junge / NTB
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The Norwegian government is discontinuing the project of its Smittestopp coronavirus infection control application. 

Instead, it will develop a new solution based on Apple and Google’s framework.

“Norway took a chance and tried to establish an infection app early. 

Unfortunately, we did not succeed in that. We learned from that. And now, we will move on,” Minister of Health Bent Høie (H) said at Monday’s corona press conference.

A new app

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) has advised the government to drop the infection control app and instead focus on Google and Apple’s solutions.

“We need even more measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Therefore, the government has decided to create a new app based on the international framework from Google and Apple. 

This app is only for infection tracking. It does not store data centrally and is, therefore, less intrusive when it comes to privacy than Smittestopp was, Høie explained.

Ready before New Year?

The development of the new infection control app will now be put out to a tender. 

The FHI estimates that it will take eight weeks to develop it.

“The goal is for the app to be ready by the end of the year, but we will use the time needed to ensure good information security and good protection of privacy,” Høie said.

The goal of the authorities was for 60% of the population to use the old app. 

At the beginning of June, 1.57 million Norwegians downloaded it, but only around 15% of the population over 15 years of age were active users.

The development cost of the Smittestopp app was up to NOK 40 million, the FHI revealed at Monday’s press conference.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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