In a statement, INESC TEC explains that the ‘STAYAWAY’ mobile application detects physical proximity between ‘smartphones’ and informs users that they have been, in the last 14 days, in the same space as someone infected with the new coronavirus.
“Each mobile phone broadcasts anonymous identifiers in its proximity and stores the identifiers disseminated by the mobile phones with which it crosses”, clarifies INESC TEC, adding that a person confirmed with covid-19 “will be able to publish online, with the legitimacy of the authorities of health, their anonymous identifiers”.
“With this public information, the application of each person can easily assess autonomously if in the previous days they was close to the infected person”, says the institute of Porto.
The application is “voluntary, non-intrusive and non-discriminatory, ensuring privacy and data protection for users”, he adds.
Cited in the statement, José Manuel Mendonça, chairman of the INESC TEC Board of Directors, said that this is “a method that can extend and accelerate, preserving the anonymity of those involved, identifying the transmission chains that health authorities have carried out since the beginning of the pandemic”.
“In the case of a person who does not contract the disease and who does not have contact with any infected person, the only interaction they will have with the app will be installing it on their smartphone. But this application will be all the more effective the greater the number of users”, says José Manuel Mendonça.
INESC TEC estimates that the application, which complies with European and national data protection legislation, will be available to all Portuguese by the end of May, on Android and iOS operating systems.
In addition to INESC TEC, the application has the collaboration of researchers from the Institute of Public Health of the University of Porto (ISPUP), from the Associated Laboratories IT, INESC ID and LarSys, from the Minho Advanced Computing Centre (MACC), from the National Cybersecurity Centre (CNCS), the National Press Casa da Moeda (INCM) and the National Digital Skills initiative e.2030.