Details of Croatia’s Coronavirus-Tracking App Emerge

Total Croatia News

May 15, 2020 — Croatia’s coronavirus contact tracing app will avoid harvesting personal data and instead model itself on its Singaporean and South Korean predecessors, according to Saša Bilić, president of the company tasked with creating it.

The APIS IT head said in an interview with N1 the application spent weeks in development. It will be released in a few weeks.

The app will use Bluetooth technology, not geolocation, to monitor people’s contacts. It will be completely voluntary.

The company said it followed recommendations from other EU countries and kept privacy foremost in mind when building the app.

 “If a person gets sick, they will voluntarily let everyone they have been in contact with over the last 14 days and contact an epidemiologist,” Bilić said.

Applications will be interoperable across countries, to align with the tourist season.

“The application will record contact if people are closer than two meters and in contact for more than 20 minutes,” he said. “When someone gets sick, if that person allows, his contacts are sent an anonymized message that they were in contact,” explained Bilić, adding the patient’s name is not revealed.

The app is based on the positive experiences of Singapore and South Korea with the aim of technology helping the medical, epidemiological profession trace contacts.

Bilić especially emphasizes that there is no data storage, that all records are only in a particular mobile device, and that using the application would be part of the responsibility of each of us.

The app will work on Google and Apple devices. The companies will release updates to their mobile operating systems allowing the apps to run — but only for official purposes.

Croatia’s app will fall under the auspices of the Ministry of Health, Bilić said, emphasizing that it will not record names of phone numbers. 

He also said that they are ready for the elections, organizationally and in terms of personnel and that they should start with all the necessary actions as soon as they receive an order from the elections committee.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković first mentioned the government’s app on Wednesday.

“New technologies enable much more [help for the healthcare system] than without them,” he said. “Croatia is working on the application. It will protect the privacy of all our citizens.”

At a press conference of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, Interior Minister Davor Božinović confirmed an earlier statement by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic that Croatia has been working on an application for “catching contacts” for several weeks.


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