Italy Says App Tracing Contacts of People Infected With COVID-19 Will Be Anonymous
ROME — The Italian government has decreed that the data provided through an app to facilitate tracing of persons who come in close contact with someone positive for COVID-19 will be completely anonymous and that all data will be destroyed by year’s end.
Premier Giuseppe Conte’s Cabinet, at a meeting that ended early Thursday, approved a law, in the form of the decree, that guarantees that those who decide not to use the app won’t suffer limits on their movement or other rights.
Health authorities are encouraging Italians to use the app as a key tool to prevent the rate of contagion to rise again in Italy. The app, which uses Bluetooth, won’t geo-localize users, and data will only be mined for purposes of containing the virus or for epidemiological study, the government said Thursday.
The Cabinet also stipulated that any bid to release to house arrest prison inmates convicted of terrorism or Mafia crimes due to COVID-19 concerns must seek the opinion of prosecutors, or in the case of top organized crime bosses must run the request by Italy’s national anti-Mafia prosecutor. Prosecutors have expressed concern mobsters can exploit the pandemic to get out of prison.