Tech

Radar COVID says goodbye and if you were one of the few who used it, you should uninstall it as soon as possible

Radar COVID, the mobile application created by the Ministry of Health with the aim of “fighting” against the coronavirus epidemic, has ended its activity and its functionalities have stopped working, as we read on the official page. If you used it back in the day, you should uninstall it immediately.

Radar COVID was, on paper, a technological means of aid in the midst of a pandemic. It allowed you to receive notifications if you had been in contact with someone who was diagnosed positive for COVID-19 in what was known as ‘automatic tracing’, essential to stop the chains of contagion. If we had all used it and it had worked correctly, it is understood.

However, users did not find it useful enough and there were relatively few downloads and less use. The practical result was that Radar COVID barely helped to record 1% of confirmed infections. In addition, it was late, its malfunctions were constant and as if that were not enough, violated up to eight articles of the GDPR, for which the Data Protection Agency even filed a case against the Spanish Government. And he was not the only executive questioned for not respecting privacy.

COVID radar: total fiasco

Multiple countries promoted COVID-19 tracking apps to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Globally its use was minimal, in Spain and in the rest, absolutely insufficient to achieve the objectives. Why was a simple technological measure not used that, through a means as widespread as a smartphone, could offer tangible benefits in the face of a pandemic?

The main reason: lack of privacy guarantees. One hundred international organizations signed an open letter asking world governments for guarantees that the digital technologies that were beginning to be used to track and monitor people and populations to stop the coronavirus fully respected human rights, including digital rights.

And they were not fulfilled. The tracking apps against COVID were in the pillory from the first moment. One or more Australian security and intelligence agencies had their August and “incidentally” collected data related to the COVIDSafe contact tracing app they used there. In Israel it was even worse. The app was so controversial that the courts ordered its closure.

In addition, there have been so many excesses in the espionage, collection and shameful treatment of personal data, without authorization and without knowledge in most cases, that users are scaled and are reluctant to use this type of application even in the face of potential benefits.

Summary: fiasco. In case a pandemic or similar unfortunately returns, it would be advisable to prepare a digital environment that meets the proposed objectives while respecting rights. This was not the case with Radar COVID or similar ones in other countries. If you have the app installed, you must uninstall it immediately, because in addition to being useless, it can be used to introduce malware once no more is invested in the maintenance of the platform.

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