Battle in Portugal over plans for compulsory virus app

in News · 19-10-2020 09:11:00 · 32 Comments

The government has triggered widespread outrage and ignored EU guidelines with plans to make a Covid-19 contact-tracing app compulsory.

Dubbed "Stay Away Covid", the app warns users when they have been near someone who has recently tested positive for the coronavirus.

So far, just 1.7 million of Portugal's 10-million population have downloaded it, which the government says is fewer than needed to help brake the pandemic's spread.

Parliament is set to vote this Friday on a law making it compulsory to install the app, alongside mask-wearing on the street.


Comments:

Just read this and then ask - do our Government leaders understand the difference between "cases" and 'infections"?

By Phil from Beiras on 26-10-2020 02:36

""Government backs down after week where messaging goes rogue""

Let's hope that politicians think before they act in the future.
Restoring peoples trust after this is still a long way away.

By Robert from Lisbon on 22-10-2020 05:27

On Tuesday, 22 Oct, Ireland began a six week, almost total confinement, which the government says will reduce covid deaths

Average Monthly Deaths in Ireland 2020

Cancer – 828
Heart Disease – 387
Dementia – 196
Cerebrovascular Disease – 151
Other Respiratory – 111
Pneumonia – 101
Accidents – 61
Alzheimers – 59
Suicides – 24
Covid – 4
Other – 1

The UK government's confinement has meant -

Delays in treatment are set to cause a 20 per cent rise in deaths among newly diagnosed cancer patients in England – 6,270 excess deaths this year;

Treatment for strokes fell by 45 per cent during lockdown and there were more than 2,000 excess deaths from heart disease;

More than 50,000 operations for children were cancelled;
Organ transplants fell by two thirds, with the number of those who died on the transplant waiting list almost doubling;

Total waiting lists for routine orthopaedic and eye operations are at record levels;

Calls to child abuse helplines rocketed;

As rates of depression and anxiety doubled, thousands of recovering alcoholics have relapsed.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8856959/Lockdowns-lethal-toll-NHS-vulnerable-patients-laid-bare.html

By Brian from UK on 22-10-2020 12:28

Lets be very clear:
1. Its an app for a smart phone that reports its position relative to other smart phones.
2. If the owner of a smart phone has been tested positive AND that person is responsible enough to enter the doctor provided code, then the position of that smart phone represents a potential infecion site therebt providing information to others.
3. The location accuracy of a smart phone can be as good as +/- 3m, but more typicaly +/- 10m or even more, depending on time spent stationary at the location to gather GPS satellite information and strength of signal.
4. Consequently it is possible to be in phsyical contact with an infected person but the app still report up to 20 meters separation!!!
5. The app can only report persons who have been tested and show a positive result

Feeling safe and being safe are very different things!

What is wrong with more effective solutions, for example, if a person is tested positive, then that person must quarantine. This assures safety to others, whereas the app may give false sense of safety because it presumably allows infected persons to continue their daily lives based on assumption that everyone has the app,that its accurate and others can then avoid coming in close proximity?

As it is becoming apparent that the virus can remain on surfaces for lengthy periods of time, infecting others who are no longer present at the point of infection, then for this propogation method the app is useless.
Quarantine for those who have been tested positive ALSO ensures surface transmission is minimised - the app is not required - unless of course, the Government want a compulsary surveilance system for other reasons.

If this app, a weak protection system that might even make the situation worse, is forced upon the population the message will be clear - this is not about COVID, its about human rights, privacy and surveillance.

By Free Thought from Other on 21-10-2020 10:59

A step-by-step look at how contact tracing works.

STEP 1: Health officials infect someone with coronavirus so they have a place to start.

STEP 2: Government desperately searches for partnership with any tech company willing to possess access to everyone’s whereabouts.

STEP 3: Patient describes contacts to a police sketch artist.

STEP 4: Officials confirm infected person’s pathetic number of social contacts accurate.

STEP 5: Velvet letter “C” stitched into every infected person’s cloak.

STEP 6: Contact tracing smartphone app asks you to invite a friend or spend five rainbow diamonds to find out if you’ve been exposed to coronavirus.

STEP 7: Asymptomatic person’s day is ruined.

STEP 8: Contacts not told identity of individual who exposed them to coronavirus even though it was obviously Rebecca.

STEP 9: A few more notions about right to privacy vanish forever.

STEP 10: Portugal enters 3 month lockdown that’s so strict, no one is allowed outdoors. Everyone is required to download the new Contact Tracing App 2.0 and use this to order all their food online, using the new digital currency. Cash is banned because the virus. Food is delivered by person wearing a visor, and mask, and food box is placed 10 metres in front of door to ensure social distancing.

If anyone steps outdoors for any reason, food delivery is shut off, because who are we kidding? They might spread the virus

By Barbara from Porto on 21-10-2020 12:18

The app seems to be only effective on condition that those infected are responsible enough to obtain and enter the doctor provided code. In other words, the app is likely to create the illusion that an infected person is no longer needs to quarantine because of the unreal assurance that others will keep their distance because of this app.
To insist on quarantine for those who test positive must surely be better than fining those who do not have the app to detect the infected who now feel free to roam !

It is rare that rushed decisions based on emotion rather than solid scientific evidence ever result in the desired effect

By Felipe from Alentejo on 20-10-2020 10:02

I have written several recent articles documenting the fact that the COVID virus is missing in action.

And when I say missing, I’m talking about two MAJOR confessions, from both the CDC and a group of study-authors in Europe…and in each case, these people were in the process of assembling instructions on how to perform the diagnostic PCR test for that very virus. The virus they said they didn’t have.

They didn’t have it because they couldn’t get it.

They couldn’t get it because no one had it.

In other words, the existence of the COVID virus is unproven.

Now, I want to point out three factors that produce a hypnotic effect. Even in the absence of the virus, these factors seem to indicate the virus “must exist.” I’m not talking about government or media pronouncements, which are obvious.

ONE: Scientists and public health agencies claim they’ve ISOLATED the virus.

There is no reason to believe them. The term “isolation” is thrown around like a politician throws around the term, “the people.”

Isolation of a virus SHOULD mean it is separated out from all the genetic, cellular, microbial, and waste material that surrounds it. But don’t assume, when professionals are talking or writing, that this is what they DO mean. Do not assume that.

For example, they often mean: “We have the virus in a dish in the lab. The soup in the dish contains human cells, chemicals, drugs, and other material. However, we know the virus is there and growing, because it is killing the human cells…”

Wrong. There is more than sufficient non-viral substance in the soup that could be doing the cell-killing. And obviously, “the virus” in the dish is surrounded by this mix of material. It is far from isolated.

And, as I’ve documented in a previous article, if the CDC, one of the biggest public health agencies in the world, couldn’t get the virus, as of July of this year, and admitted it in writing…“the virus” isn’t isolated.

TWO: This hypnotic effect ropes in some of the brightest medical and scientific professionals, who otherwise challenge all sorts of medical dogma. It is: “The genetic sequence of the virus is well established. Many studies confirm this.”

Well, sure. If experts have mapped out the genetic structure of the virus, the virus must exist. Right?

Wrong. The sequence is INFERRED. It is ASSUMED.

Inferred from what? The genetic sequence could be cobbled together from several sources: the unseparated material “in the dish in the lab”; a piece or pieces of RNA that have been arbitrarily chosen as “relevant clues”; a piece or pieces of synthetic RNA that, again, have been arbitrarily selected according to a bias in favor of a certain type of virus.

Bias? What does that mean? I’ll explain. When a few dozen people in Wuhan fell ill, back in 2019, there were a million ways researchers could have gone, in trying to figure out the cause.

Of course, as I’ve written, they could have looked out their windows and observed the horrific air pollution hanging over the city, and realized these “unexplained cases” of pneumonia had a ridiculously simple origin. But no.

The researchers opted, as they always do, for a “new virus.” And, they chose, without a shred of evidence, to “look for” a germ from the coronavirus family. That was the pre-planned story. That was the bias.

From that point on, the die was cast. The “genetic sequencing” involved cobbling together, by assumption and inference, a collage of INFORMATION, into code, which would satisfy the pre-ordained scenario.

They ASSEMBLED a genetic sequence that matched what they were going for: a coronavirus.

Don’t imagine genetic sequencing is performed by people looking directly at a virus through a cosmic microscope and jotting down the names of rows of genes sitting side by side like cars in a supermarket parking lot.

THREE: The other hypnotic factor is the PCR test. “If the test exists to detect the virus, the virus must exist.”

Wrong. The test—which has irreparable and fatal flaws, as I’ve documented—is working, at best, from a fragment of RNA which is ASSUMED to come from the virus. If the test appears to identify that fragment as “relevant,” the test result clams the person is “infected.”

by Jon Rappoport, No More Fake News

By Efraim from Algarve on 20-10-2020 05:34

How can they mandate the use of the app when my iPhone 6 will not run the software. It requires IOS 13 or greater and my phone is saying it is up to date and running on 12.4.8. Seems to be a bit of compatibility issue with older phones.

By Derek Robson from Other on 20-10-2020 04:55

IMO this may create possible unnecessary anxiety. If you are infected clearly you should stay away from others as we do for all infections. There is also the question of the efficacy of the test. What would you do if you have been near someone who is on this app and has been infected for example? Rush off and do an imperfect test, which in any case is only valid for a short time, quarantine yourself just in case. Or just carry on being observant of your health. We are all doing this anyway are we not? As we go on it seems to me that taking personal responsibility for your health and the way it affects others is more important than unnecessary mandatory measures. Or maybe we can recreate leper colonies and send all the infected there I do not think so. The severity of the disease does not warrant that or this measure. However if you want to do so then fine please do so. I have doubts about masks as they are not very efficient so give a false sense of security. Better just keep a respectful distance and do not sneeze over people.

By Carole Anne from Beiras on 20-10-2020 04:06

To everyone who is crying here about privacy and how the app cannot detect covid, and how the politicians are forcing this. Kindly, go read the official publications and on how the app works, before criticizing it or the idea to suggest to use it mandatory.

To post my comment here in this "theportugalnews", I had to give my email address, name and location.
Whereas the stay away Covid app, asks for nothing. It collects your gps location and via Bluetooth, it communicates anonymously with mobiles that are closer than admissable distances and warns you. It never shares your data to 3rd party or stores them on cloud. Data protection and privacy is the core of such apps, especially during this pandemic, and if you all think this is BS, then I'm sorry you are plain ignorant. Your Facebook/messenger/WhatsApp/Olx/Gmail/Uber/Glovo collets way more information about you than what this app does.

And for a fact, what this app does, is try to warn you and save YOUR life. For crying out loud, we researchers don't invent methods and ideas for our own needs. And yes, I'm a researcher.

Like Luis has mentioned above, if you are so tipped of and bothered by this, kindly don't stop at red lights, don't wear seat belts, don't go to pharmacies. Ignorance is never bliss when it comes to global pandemic.

By Kamal from Porto on 20-10-2020 03:03

They Thought They Were Free
The Germans, 1933-45
One doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next.....And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident...... collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed.

By Pedro from Lisbon on 20-10-2020 11:01

You're absolutely right Luis. Some people are just ignorant....following the lead of others, without any common sense....having to google everything because the internet has taught them to doubt themselves about being able to make ANY decisions, even small ones. Then you have the anarchists jumping on this phenomenon, disguising themselves as benevolents to society.

By William from Other on 20-10-2020 10:58

Simply outrageous to mandate mask-wearing and downloading of tracking apps even for seemingly good "intentions". There is no clear science that mask-wearing is effective in preventing the virus and same goes with the app. As for mask-wearing, it is a dangerous placebo at best and should never be used for the general population. Only to be used by medical professionals or properly trained patients. When was the last time a mask-wearer has washed his mask??? It is essentially a cesspool of bacteria after even one time wearing it! If masks were so effective, why is it that Sweden (where hardly anyone wears one) doing better now in terms of new cases vs almost every country in Europe? The fact of the matter is that anyone under 55 has a .03% chance of dying folks if you get infected. That is POINT ZERO THREE percent!! That is less than the flu! Continued complete over hysteria by the general population fuelled by mainstream media, over zealous health professionals, power-hungry and scared politicians and a lack of critical thinking and overabundance of ignorance! Protect the old and vulnerable... everyone else back to work and school and get on with your lives!

By E. Medeiros from Lisbon on 20-10-2020 09:41

What??
Are you people insane? Wake up and look at the bigger picture. Face masks, tracking app, what next compulsory vaccine full of damaging chemicals. Well done.

Let nature take its cause. People will die as they always have. That's the cycle of life.

I blame the older more stupid generation who follow everyone else.

Stand up and fight the system before you all die of vaccine poisoning.

Good luck and see you on the other side.

By Jenny from Algarve on 20-10-2020 09:37

This should not be made into a law with a fine it should be voluntary to those who wish to install it.Where is there any profe that it works and how will it detict if someone near to you os infected with the virus ?

By Lawrence Tkachuk from Açores on 20-10-2020 08:43

People who has tested positive should not go out. Dont fine people who doesnt want to download, fine the people who tessted positive and went out.

By Werner from Lisbon on 19-10-2020 10:40

@Robert...surely every little we all can do to prevent the spread of the virus is worthwhile. If this app saves one life it’s worth it IMHO. I think all those with a compatible phone should download it. Just because some can’t isn’t a reason for the rest of us to do it. What’s vergonha is if someone dies because people thought their privacy was more important than someone else’s life.

By David from Lisbon on 19-10-2020 10:35

What is the name of the app

By Bikram from Lisbon on 19-10-2020 09:51

The government is power hungry and will do what ever it takes to control our lives. Government should focus on the elderly in nursing homes, learn how to take care of them before getting into peoples business. Lock downs do not work, masks are also questionable. People touch their face more when wearing a mask and how often do people recycle their masks (not often). If the Portuguese government mandate an app for a smartphone they will have to buy me one since all I have is a stupid phone.

By Paula from Other on 19-10-2020 09:43

So once they have made the app compulsory what is to stop them keeping it permanent under the guise of public health and safety?
The virus came from China and yet western governments are willingly rolling over to use communist China's tactics to tag and bag their citizens.
This is a slippery slope.
What about other diseases?What about minority groups? What about people who disagree with the government?

Time to stop and pause and ask ourselves is this really what we want and where we are heading?

After 9/11 governments used that as a reason to make massive changes to our freedoms.None of these have been repealed.

This is a time for national debate,not government imposed restrictions of our rights and freedoms.

Be warned!

By James from Algarve on 19-10-2020 07:45

Robert any smartphone can run the app easy,even old smartphones , which you buy for as little as 20e secondhand, so you dont need 500e to buy a new phone, and since we have no cure for the virus, anything is worth a try, so dont be so negative

By Karl blore from Algarve on 19-10-2020 05:36

This is political hubris at its absolute worst. What a bunch of evil, evil people. And so what am I supposed to do when I turn up without my phone because obviously after this year and the hand the globalists are playing, i have of course thrown it in the bin. I will never carry that tracking device on me ever again. Come get me you bunch of NAZIS.

By Free Man from Algarve on 19-10-2020 04:59

Yes, sure, right. The government don't even have the means to police the compulsory wearing of masks in the streets, supermarkets and shopping centres.

Lost count of the numbers of infractions I see every day.

For the App to be effective, (not that I believe in them), you need 85%+ of the population to use it.

In Portugal the forecasted Smartphone user penetration rate for 2022, (in 2 years time), is projected to reach 64.40 percent of the total population.

Portugal is an aging population, with many people living in small villages throughout the country. Even in areas around bigger cities like Lisbon, Torres Vedras and Caldas da Rainha, many of the people are farmers and peasants. They are not even interested in Smartphones.

The whole idea of enforcing a law to download the App is laughable.

Who in the world is advising these incompetent politicians?

By Susan from Lisbon on 19-10-2020 03:29

Just like using a mask has been totally voluntary, because the government trusts its citizens to be civically responsible, there comes a time during the pandemic that you see some people aren't civically minded. Fining them for not voluntarily using a mask, or not voluntarily using a contact tracing app, during the height of a pandemic which is only getting worse, I think is in the best interest of the general population.

I felt like it was important for me to reply to Robert, because I do have the app installed, and I'd like to share my experience.

It's essentially an app for contact tracing: I have it installed, and should I get diagnosed with covid, I input the code the doctor gives me into the app. Anyone who has the app installed, and who was close to me for 15 minutes gets a ping saying that they were potentially exposed. They will not know who it was, because the app only assigns you a number, and no personal information or personally identifiable information is being collected.

Should I get infected, I would clearly tell my friends that I met in the past couple of days, but I wouldn't be able to tell you (since I don't know you) if we were seated at the cafè or were shopping at the same grocery store, maybe waiting in line or whatever, right before I was diagnosed. I have the app installed - do you? I want to stop the spread, but if you don't have the app, you might also be infected without knowing it. If you install the app, even though you and I don't know each other, there's a way for you to know that you've been potentially exposed, and you can take action before spreading it to others.

The app itself is lightweight. I'm checking it right now and it's been using less than 0.1% of my battery, which is less than what my weather widget is using. You don't need a €500 phone. My phone is 3 years old, and even back then it cost me a little over €100. I know people who don't have internet at home, but honestly I don't know of anyone - even poorer folks - that don't have even a beat-up smartphone.

As for rights to privacy: there is no personally identifiable information that is being collected, so nothing can be transmitted. I would invite you to read up a little more on this! If you're using Whatsapp - or even surfing on The Portugal News, which does use cookies - you have much more personal information being collected. People are willing to use Facebook and Whatsapp, but complain about this app in terms of privacy - please educate yourself a little more.

By Victor from Lisbon on 19-10-2020 03:16

Just like using a mask has been totally voluntary, because the government trusts its citizens to be civically responsible, there comes a time during the pandemic that you see some people aren't civically minded. Fining them for not voluntarily using a mask, or not voluntarily using a contact tracing app, during the height of a pandemic which is only getting worse, I think is in the best interest of the general population.

I felt like it was important for me to reply to Robert, because I do have the app installed, and I'd like to share my experience.

It's essentially an app for contact tracing: I have it installed, and should I get diagnosed with covid, I input the code the doctor gives me into the app. Anyone who has the app installed, and who was close to me for 15 minutes gets a ping saying that they were potentially exposed. They will not know who it was, because the app only assigns you a number, and no personal information or personally identifiable information is being collected.

Should I get infected, I would clearly tell my friends that I met in the past couple of days, but I wouldn't be able to tell you (since I don't know you) if we were seated at the cafè or were shopping at the same grocery store, maybe waiting in line or whatever, right before I was diagnosed. I have the app installed - do you? I want to stop the spread, but if you don't have the app, you might also be infected without knowing it. If you install the app, even though you and I don't know each other, there's a way for you to know that you've been potentially exposed, and you can take action before spreading it to others.

The app itself is lightweight. I'm checking it right now and it's been using less than 0.1% of my battery, which is less than what my weather widget is using. You don't need a €500 phone. My phone is 3 years old, and even back then it cost me a little over €100. I know people who don't have internet at home, but honestly I don't know of anyone - even poorer folks - that don't have even a beat-up smartphone.

As for rights to privacy: there is no personally identifiable information that is being collected, so nothing can be transmitted. I would invite you to read up a little more on this! If you're using Whatsapp - or even surfing on The Portugal News, which does use cookies - you have much more personal information being collected. People are willing to use Facebook and Whatsapp, but complain about this app in terms of privacy - please educate yourself.

By Victor from Lisbon on 19-10-2020 03:13

Let’s not be ridiculous here. No one is spying on the population of Portugal with a smartphone app! Yes, not everyone has a smartphone but those who do should download the app. It can’t hurt and will most certainly help with stopping the spread of COVID-19. For those who see a government overreach here, would they prefer another lock down?

By Steve M from Other on 19-10-2020 03:02

People are so ignorant :( the app is not the only way to trace infections. It's a way to make it better. And it should be obvious to everyone that it is a civic duty to use it if you can. After all if you're unlucky enough to get covid, you should want to warn people you've been in contact with, unless you're some kind of sadistic anti social member of society. Same goes for masks.

Why on earth don't you also complain having to stop at redlights, using the seat belt, wearing a helmet on a motorbike or fined for using the phone while driving, etc, etc...? It's all the same thing, it's called saving lives.

By Luis from Lisbon on 19-10-2020 02:49

Totally agree!

By Diana Krogh from Beiras on 19-10-2020 02:19

In addition to the privacy issues and the logistics of forcing the app, how will it be enforced. Will the police need to see people's phones to check to see if the app is there. Also this app drains the battery of some phones. There are many issues that have not been worked out. It might be a better idea to enforce mask wearing and educate people on simple things like how to sneeze, keep the distance and wash your hands.

By Carmen from Lisbon on 19-10-2020 02:19

A app will not help to protect the peoples from others.
For example. If a person are infected, so he needs to stay in home for Quarantine, right. But who will he warn at home. Or. He's infected and he don't know and doesn't show any symptoms how a app Cann prevent. Or very easy, Vou install the app but you deactivate the background information. Useless.
And by the way, if you've like me a huawei p40pro there's no app available because I don't have access to the Google play store.

By Maik from Lisbon on 19-10-2020 02:01

Well written Robert, and please every person should appeal to EU human rights court, governments inside EU shall not impose sureveillance apps, it is truth what Robert says, the app can not stop or prevent any from getting a flu, totally impossible but the app is used to see where a person is which people a person spend time with, and go to settings and you can see covid 19 app also control the camera, files and microphone.

By Magnus from Other on 19-10-2020 02:00

When a government places its faith in an app you'd better take cover. How would an app prevent infection? Please present reliable facts on how it's done.

To get the app do what the government hope it would do, it is necessary that ALL people living in or visiting Portugal have a smartphone the can run the app.
For those who don't have a suitable phone it's not just a simple task of buying a 500 EUR phone just for this purpose.

Can poor people buy a phone? Will the government buy a phone for you or give you money so you can buy one?
What about older smartphones or other phones which are not newer Apple or Android phones. Can they run this app? I think not!

And what about peoples right to privacy? We have not seen any evidence that this app respects our privacy. Just a politicians word, which is worth nothing in this case.

Previously the government told us that it was "totally voluntary" to download the app. Now they are going back on their word. Vergonha/Shameful!

It is an unbelievable poor suggestion from politicians that people should download this app or else get fined up to 500 EUR for not doing so.

Who would trust a politician after that? I certainly don't!

By Robert from Lisbon on 19-10-2020 12:49
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