CoronaMelder is working with other countries
From the end of November 2020 onwards, CoronaMelder will work with similar apps from a number of other EU countries. The number of countries will continue to increase in the months after that.
The cooperation will help stop the spread of coronavirus, including among users of CoronaMelder who travel abroad and people from other countries who visit the Netherlands. That could be very important for people who live close to the border with Germany or Belgium and when we go on holiday abroad again. As a user, you won’t need to do anything differently. You will not need to download a new version of the app or use a similar app from those other countries.
Imagine that you are near a user of the German Corona-Warn-App and that person later tests positive for coronavirus in Germany. If that person shares their codes with the German health authorities, you will receive a notification in CoronaMelder. And it will also work the other way around, of course. Because the coronavirus apps all work together, you will only need to download one app. That means CoronaMelder if you live in the Netherlands.
The European Union has created new digital infrastructure, the European Federated Gateway Service (EFGS), to enable the apps from different countries to work together. It consists of a common server (hosted at the data centre of the European Commission in Luxembourg), which allows the designated national authorities or official bodies of member states to exchange data between the different corona apps.
The advantages of cooperation between countries are:
- Users only need to install the app from their own country (for residents of the Netherlands, that means CoronaMelder).
- About 18 countries will connect to the gateway, including a large area of Europe.
Other countries can also join in the future if they meet the requirements. Once coronavirus has been brought under control, the infrastructure will be deactivated.
All apps from the European countries participating in the partnership will apply the same privacy principles.
- The protection of users’ data will be the priority.
- Using the app is always voluntary.
- The apps do not collect location data, so they don’t know where users are.
- The apps meet high standards of security and privacy.
Data sent to the central server is stored for a maximum of 14 days, just like with CoronaMelder. Only the codes from the apps is sent to or stored on the server, and no other data.
European countries can connect to the common server if they have a decentralised app. The app retrieves the codes of any users who test positive and compares these with the codes on your phone.
In a centralised app, on the other hand, all the codes would be collected at a central location and compared there. You can find a list of countries with centralised and decentralised apps here.