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Digital contact tracing and privacy protection

The contact tracing app developed by the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) that was criticised due to privacy concerns has been disabled. A new app based on the international framework of Apple and Google will now be developed.

The month of October is the National Cyber Security Awareness month for all public bodies.
 Ina Danielsen is the data protection officer at UiA.

 Ina Danielsen is the data protection officer at UiA.

The month of October is the National Cyber Security Awareness month for all public bodies. This means that extra focus is put on safety. It does not mean that safety only matters in October - but this month, each and every one of us should do our part to make sure we incorporate good safety habits into our daily routines. And they must be practiced every day throughout the year.

“Privacy is important in many contexts, also at UiA. Sensitive personal data, such as health data, must be processed securely. We have a set of rules for safeguarding personal data. UiA has sensitive data related to both student and personnel matters, and to research”, says Data Protection Officer Ina Danielsen.

 

These pictures takes about two minutes to scroll:

(In Norwegian only - sorry)

Check out www.sikresiden.no/en (On the Safe Side) – your guide to safety at home and in the workplace.

Counsellor and watchdoge

The role of the data protection officer is to provide advise and check that the university complies with its legal obligations to process personal data in a secure manner. The data protection officer has a duty of confidentiality and is an independent adviser who provides guidance regarding data protection legislation, both to individual employees and students.

“The data protection officer is part adviser and part watchdog, someone who always keeps privacy protection in mind. You get information and advice about your rights and responsibilities under the regulations”, says Ina Danielsen.

 

See more about privacy protection at UiA:

Privacy protection in research: https://www.uia.no/en/for-employees/research/privacy-protection-in-research

Code of practice for processing personal data in research and students’ dissertations: https://www.uia.no/en/research/about-the-research/code-of-practice-for-processing-personal-data-in-research-and-students-dissertations

New contact tracing app

This is what it looks like when you search for the contact tracing app on your phone. It will not work in Norway until approved by the authorities, but there is some COVID-19 information there and information about how it works if, or when, it is launched in Norway.

This is what it looks like when you search for the contact tracing app on your phone. It will not work in Norway until approved by the authorities, but there is some COVID-19 information there and information about how it works if, or when, it is launched in Norway.

The Norwegian Data Protection Authority stopped the previous contact tracing app after two months because of privacy concerns. Now, however, the Data Protection Authority has given the thumbs up for work on a new contact tracing app. The government and NIPH have started the process.

The new solution is built on the international framework developed by Apple and Google. The solution only registers anonymous Bluetooth ‘handshakes’ when two users come into contact, writes digi.no.

Those who have recently upgraded the operating system on their phones, both iPhone and Android, have the new Bluetooth-based solution added to their phone. Currently it does not work in Norway. First, NIPH must adapt it for use in Norway, and then it must be approved by the authorities. However, some information is already there. You find it by going to ‘Settings’ and searching for ‘COVID-19’.

“At first glance, we think this is a better solution than the original contact tracing app, but we must, of course, examine the new solution further to be able to say more about how it preserves privacy”, says Data Protection Commissioner Bjørn Erik Thon in the Data Protection Authority.

Work on the development of the new app will be put out to tender, and a solution may be ready before Christmas. This is the goal, but Minister of Health Bent Høie emphasises that “we will devote the time needed to ensure good information security and privacy protection”.

This time, NIPH has requested a meeting with the Norwegian Data Protection Authority. It is already a better starting point than in the previous development. Then time will tell whether this time they succeed, writes digi.no.